How to get the most out of this weekend's Orionid meteor shower

20 October, 2017, 00:36 | Author: Cecelia Webb
  • 2017 Conejos County Citizen

Meteors, or shooting stars, are the small pieces of debris left behind comets that burn up when they enter our atmosphere.

Mostly clear skies are expected across central Indiana Friday night into Saturday morning.

The Orionids derive their name from there point of origin next to the Orion constellation, which ascends in the east.

The Orionid meteor shower will be putting on its best sky show of the month this weekend - late Friday night, October 20, into early Saturday morning, October 21.

The comet returns every 72 years and was last seen from Earth in 1986. The best time to view the shower will be a few hours before dawn.

That the light you see streaking across the sky.

During the peak, star gazers can expect anywhere up to 80 meteors an hour, though this year Nasa believes that the numbers may not be as spectacular.

Although the number of Orionids can not rival the three major meteor showers of the year - the Quadrantids, Perseids and Geminids - they are known for consistency in intensity and convenience for observation, as they are both bright and positioned near the zenith, the museum said.

The shower is active throughout October, but Kerss says the best time to see it will be on October 22 between midnight and dawn, when the sky is darkest and the shower will be at its brightest. Numerous falling stars leave ionised trails of glowing gas in their path.

This year will be a particularly good year for viewing the Orionids since the peak of the shower falls just days after the new moon, meaning there will be little natural light pollution for the shower to compete with, AccuWeather said.

You can make your meteor watching experience much more comfortable if you take along a lawn chair, a blanket and a thermos of your favorite hot beverage.


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