Orionoid Meteor Shower 2017

I can’t claim to be even an amateur astronomer (like Colonel Ken), but a meteor shower is something that we can all enjoy!

Stargazers are expecting to see a meteor shower peak this weekend, with dozens of shooting stars streaking across the sky as Earth passes through debris of Halley’s Comet. The Orionid meteors appear every year, with showers producing around 20 meteors every hour. PA Wire

Everybody has heard of Halley’s Comet. If you were around back in 1986, perhaps you even got a glimpse. While we won’t get to see it again until the year 2061, every year we get reminded of its pass through our solar system in the form of meteor showers (the Aquarids in May and Orionids in October/November).

The meteor showers vary in intensity each year depending upon how much cosmic junk (dust particles) are in the path of our planet. Typically the Orionids are a pretty decent show, some of the fastest and brightest of the year, mostly because the Earth literally hits the comet’s dust trail head on.

The Orionids radiate from an area of the sky close to the constellation Orion. This time of year, that portion of the sky is most visible after midnight, close to 2 a.m.

The show will peak this weekend. If the weather is clear in your area, viewing should be great. Because there is a new moon, there won’t be any moonlight to dim the show. During the best years, the Orionids can produce more than 100 meteors per hour. Astronomers aren’t predicting anything quite that exciting this year, but 20-30 per hour is certainly possible. It looks like most of the Eastern United States will be pretty clear tonight.

Read more at Space.com

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5 Responses to Orionoid Meteor Shower 2017

  1. Jacqueline Taylor Robson says:

    When we were little, my Mom would set up lawn chairs and wake us all up in the middle of the night to watch the meteors. The best places I’ve seen them (so far) has been Arizona and Fife, Scotland. I still set my clock for 2:00 am, and go for a look!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The Tundra PA says:

    Is that 2 am eastern time, so 10 pm Alaska time? Or is it 2 am wherever you are? We’re supposed to have clear skies until 10 pm and then cloud over (but they often get the time wrong on our weather predictions, so I’ll hope the clouds are late).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lburg says:

    For anyone interested, this is a great stars site. Very understandable and his enthusiasm is contagious. Besides, how can you not love a guy who calls himself Astro Bob???

    From Bob’s site: “Halley’s comet is presently 3.2 billion miles (5.1 billion km) from Earth or more than half a billion miles beyond Neptune. But the Orionid meteor shower shrinks that to only 60 miles, at least for now. Clear skies!”

    http://astrobob.areavoices.com/2017/10/20/halleys-comet-tosses-out-tootsie-rolls-this-weekend/

    Liked by 1 person

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