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Orionids Meteor Shower 2017 | Halley’s Comet’s Debris

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On a dark, moonless night, the Orionids exhibit as many as 25 meteors per hour. These fast-moving meteors occasionally leave persistent trains. They sometimes produce bright fireballs, so watch for them to flame in the sky. If you trace these meteors backward, they seem to come from the Club of the famous constellation Orion the Hunter. You might know Orion’s bright, ruddy star Betelgeuse. The radiant is north of Betelgeuse.

2017 Orionids Meteor Shower
October 21-22, 2017 | Midnight to dawn in 2017

In 2017, the Orionid meteor shower is expected to rain down its greatest number of meteors on the morning of October 21, though under the light of a bright waning gibbous moon. Our advice is to start watching in early October, and settle for a meteor or two glimpsed in a moon-free sky. Who knows? You might see a bright one.

Find a dark sky, lie down on a reclining lawn chair in comfort and look up. Give yourself at least an hour of watching time as meteors tend to come in spurts, and are interspersed by lulls. Remember, also, that it takes about twenty minutes for your eyes to adapt to the dark.

When is the best time to watch? In any year, the Orionids don’t really begin to streak the nighttime sky until late evening, when the magnificent constellation Orion ascends over the eastern horizon. After their radiant point rises, you’ll see many more meteors, and, as the radiant rises higher in the sky throughout the night, the meteors will increase in number. That’s why the wee hours before dawn are usually the best.

Where do I look in the sky to see the Orionids? Meteors in annual showers are named for the point in our sky from which they appear to radiate. The radiant point for the Orionids is in the direction of the famous constellation Orion the Hunter; hence the name Orionids.

About The Orionid
The Orionid is caused by pieces of debris left behind by Halley’s Comet. Every year around mid-October, the debris hits the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere, which causes it to burn up and creates the meteor shower we see. The debris is moving really fast — roughly 148,000 mph — and burns up when it hits the atmosphere, causing the flash of light we see.

Source: EarthSky


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