Halley’s Comet visits Earth only once every 75 to 76 years, so this annual shower offers some consolation to those who might miss that infrequent occurrence.
You can witness an amazing celestial fireworks show on the nights of October 21-22 as debris from Halley’s Comet illuminates the night sky, provided the weather allows for it.
Here’s How to Use Android Meteors This Weekend
The Orionid meteor shower, ongoing throughout the month, reaches its peak during several hours on Saturday night and Sunday morning, giving you the best opportunity to witness this spectacular event.
What Can I See?
The shower is expected to present a dramatic light show and potentially produce up to 25 meteors every hour until the early morning of Sunday.
What Does it Consist of?
The Orionid Meteor Shower, which we anticipate witnessing this weekend, occurs when the Earth passes through the debris left by Halley’s Comet.
Whenever Halley revisits the inner solar system, it releases ice and rocky dust into space. Over time, these dust particles transform into the Orionids we see in October.
The phenomenon is named after the Orion constellation, one of the most brilliant star groups in the night sky.
The meteoroids streak through Earth’s atmosphere at incredibly high speeds of 148,000mph, creating vast streaks of light.
Twice a year, the Earth and Halley’s Comet cross paths due to their elliptical orbits around the sun. This results in the Orionids, as well as the Eta Aquariid meteor shower in May.
Given that the comet visits Earth only once every 75 to 76 years, this annual shower offers a consolation for those who might miss that rare event.
When Does the Meteor Shower Reach its Peak?
The meteor shower has been occurring all through October, but it reaches its peak between midnight and dawn on both tomorrow and Sunday, making this the best time to observe it.
In total, the peak is projected to span approximately seven hours, from 11 pm on Saturday night until 6 am on Sunday morning.
Experts recommend positioning yourself to observe the shower (additional guidance can be found below) at around 11 pm on Saturday. This will allow your eyes to adapt to the darkness before the prime viewing time from 2 am to dawn.
Although this weekend offers the prime opportunity to observe it, Dr. Minjae Kim, a research fellow at the Department of Physics, University of Warwick, ensures that stargazers can “easily” see the Orionids for several days afterward.
The shower concludes on November 7, so you still have a chance to catch a glimpse even if it’s not this weekend.
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