The Orionid shower peaks over two days. Here’s what to expect

pluie étoiles filantes

Over the next few days, Earth will sweep up a cluster of comets known as the Orionids, the most famous of all comets: Hallis. The shower of shooting stars will be visible for several days, but the event will end on October 21.

A view of the lyresides on the night of April 22. The Eta Aquarid rainfall peaked in early May. Finally, we continued with Perseids in August. Now it’s Orianids’ turn.

In October, our planet actually crosses the path of rejected meteors. Halley’s Comet During its revolution around the Sun. As it enters our atmosphere, this tiny dust burns up, creating the characteristic streaks of light from “shooting stars.”

Note that the energy released per gram of the meteorite’s weight exceeds the energy potential of the most powerful explosives. That is why such small objects glow competitively Venus. In addition, the Orionids are high-velocity (about 67 km/s) meteors that pass through the Earth’s atmosphere head-on. As a result, about a third of them can leave lines for a second or two.

This is the second time the same swarm has been crossed this year. We cross it in another part of our orbit for several days in early May (Eta Aquarids). In May, Earth passes the debris left by the comet as it moves away from the Sun, and in October, we pass it as it approaches.

A shower of shooting stars
An Eta Aquarid meteor streaks the night sky over Mount Bromo on the island of Java, Indonesia. Credit: Justin Ng

Viewing conditions

Best time to appreciate this rain The pre-dawn hours of Friday, October 21. Weather permitting, you can observe about twenty stars per hour by turning your eyes in the direction of Orion.

As for viewing conditions, a crescent moon appears in the constellation Leo, only 17% illuminated. It is very low in the night sky, so don’t interfere too much. Feel free to move away from any source of light pollution and stare at the sky for a few minutes to acclimate your eyes to the darkness. Next, focus your gaze on the south and southeast, but make sure to keep your eyes moving.

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