Tags: orionid | meteor | shower | halleys comet

Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks, Promising Up to 25 Shooting Stars an Hour

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 10:06 AM

The Orionid meteor shower will peak this week and, weather permitting, the annual light show promises to spew shooting stars across the night sky.

Space.com reported that the Orionid meteor shower should be visible before dawn on Tuesday.

"The Orionid meteor shower is peaking now, and it will likely be a very good show this year, weather permitting," the site noted. "The moon will be slimmed down to a narrow crescent before sunrise on Tuesday morning during the peak of the shower. The skinny lunar sliver will not even rise until around 5 a.m. local time."

Bruce McClure, of EarthSky.org, wrote that the meteor shower is actually debris from Halley's Comet. The meteors are bits of ice and dust that take on the appearance of streaks of light in the darkness, often referred to as shooting stars.

"The comet last visited Earth in 1986 and will return next in 2061," McClure wrote. "At the peak, from a dark site, you might expect to see about 25 meteors per hour. As is standard for most meteor showers, the best time to watch this shower will be between the hours of midnight and dawn — regardless of your time zone."

McClure suggested that viewing the Orionid meteor shower will be worth losing a little bit of sleep for viewers.

"Even one meteor can be a thrill," he wrote. "Bring along a blanket or lawn chair — after midnight or before dawn — and lie back comfortably while gazing upward. Although a somewhat modest shower, these swift-moving meteors are sometimes bright, occasionally leaving a persistent train — a glowing streak that lingers momentarily after the meteor has gone."

The meteor shower showed up clearly after dark on Monday, according to social media postings.





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The Orionid meteor shower will peak this week and, weather permitting, the annual light show promises to spew shooting stars across the night sky.
orionid, meteor, shower, halleys comet
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2014-06-21
Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 10:06 AM
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