Categories: world

Orionid Meteor Shower 2018 Peaks This weekend with pieces of Halley's Comet: What to Expect

If you are meteoric enthusiast, 2018 has been very kind to you. During the summer, the annual Perseid meteor shower…

If you are meteoric enthusiast, 2018 has been very kind to you. During the summer, the annual Perseid meteor shower reached its peak day after a new moon, which meant that no moonlight would prevent those who spell heavenly streakers. And in the future, Geminid Meteor Rain, the most productive of all annual displays, will reach its peak when an almost first quarter of the moon is sitting in late evening hours. This will make for excellent viewing conditions.

And coming almost half way between these two popular showers, this weekend provides one of the most reliable meteorological events. A kind of smaller version of the summertime Perseids, the orionid meteorduschen should reach its top activity early on Sunday morning.

These meteors are renamed from the Orion’s upraised club: an area just above and to the left of Orion’s second brightest star, Betelgeuse, which shines with a distinct reddish color. Orion is a winter mark, so right now, during the early fall, he appears in front of the earth on our journey around the sun. The mighty hunter will not be shown until after 1

1.00 local daylight, when he has completely managed the eastern horizon. [Orionid Meteor Shower: When, Where and How to See It]

Astrologer Michael Humpherson captured an Orionid meteor at Panther Beach, just north of Santa Cruz, California , October 24, 2012.

Credit: Michael Humpherson /

However, do not expect much about Orionid activities at that time. Rather, you should wait until 2:00 in your local time zone when Orion will climb far above the horizon. And just before dawn, at around 17:00, Orion will be seen highest in the sky to the south. That’s when the Orionid view will be the best.

Vanionide meteors are usually quite weak and difficult to see from easily polluted towns. So I suggest you find a safe rural place for viewing. Lie down on a long lawn or in a sleeping bag and look over the head towards the southern part of the sky.

Funny but: At first sight it looks like a very bad year to watch this shower. Just three days after these meteors reached their peak, a brilliant full moon comes to light the sky from twilight to dawn on October 24th. Nevertheless, you can see the early stages of the screen in a dark skies for several mornings before Sunday.

Come on Saturday night, the moon will be in a growing gibbous phase against the Aquarius’s weak stars and reach its highest point in the sky just after 10 o’clock in the morning. local daylight. Later, on Sunday morning, when the peak Orionid activity is expected, the moon will set just before 4 am So there will be almost 2 hours of dark skies between the moon and the first glowing dawn when a single observer can count as many as 15 or 20 Orion times per hour. And because it occurs when the orionids are the best, the moon will not seriously affect the display of the year.

The annual Orionid meteor shower, consisting of debris from repeated passages by Comet Halley, runs from 23 September to 27 November. It drops between midnight and dawn on Saturday 21 October during a dark moonless sky. At that time, the sky is flying over the head directly into the densest part of the particle field and produces 10-20 fast meteors per hour. The meteors can pop up somewhere in the sky, but will leave the Orion constellation.

Credit: Starry Night Software

We can thank Halley’s Comet for this annual late October show with Orionid meteors. And we can also thank Halley for another meteor shower, one shown in early May: Eta Aquarids.

Meteorides are the remains of a comet’s kernel. As it approaches the sun, the frozen material measures the surface of a core of comets – which in itself does not measure more than one kilometer or two (1.6 to 3 kilometers) in diameter – sublimes, goes straight from one frozen to one gas condition. In the process, the comet shows that it is a cosmic coal stretch, which in its gap leaves a trace of dust and litter along its path. These pieces are so small and crisp, with the texture of cigarra, that you can easily crush them with one hand. Each trip precises a toll of dusty litter that is scattered in space.

Comets are the most primitive members of our solar system, created at the same time as the sun and planets about 4.6 billion years ago. But while everything has constantly evolved, comets are essentially the same and therefore contain important clues about the origin of the solar system. The reason for the unchanged nature of the comets is that they spend most of their time roaming in space’s “deep freezing”, far beyond the outer planets. There the temperature flows a fraction of a degree of absolute zero, which is minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 273.15 degrees Celsius). In the icy realms there are no chemical reactions, so the comets remain as they were at the beginning of the solar system’s creation.

Halley’s Comet has over the past 100,000 years managed to do well over a thousand journeys around the sun, and on every sunny visit, the object has left a phone card of dross along its orbit. Every year, the path of the Earth passes near Halley’s track in October and May, and some of the dust shaken from the comet crosses the earth’s path in space. Garbage rams through our upper atmosphere of 41 miles (66 km) per second, creating the effect of fast strokes, popularly called “shooting stars”.

Previous studies have shown that approximately half of all observed orionids leave paths that last longer than other meteors with the corresponding brightness. This is undoubtedly linked to the makeup of Halley’s Comet; The object produces meteors that begin to burn up very high in our atmosphere, about 80 miles (130km) up, possibly because they consist of lightweight materials. This indicates that they came from the diffuse surface of Halley’s core as opposed to the core.

I do not know how many of you who read these words saw Halley’s Comet when it last swept through the inner solar system in late winter and spring 1986. With a period of 75.4 years, Halley is due to make a return look at the end of July and beginning of August 2061.

Currently, the average life expectancy for persons in the United States is 78.7 years; For the United Kingdom it is 81.6 years, and in Canada it is 82.1 years. It seems that if you were born sometime after 1983 there is at least one better than even chance that you will be around to greet the “Orionid’s mother” again in the summer of 2061.

As for me, I saw Halley 1986 in “advanced age “of 30, so the odds are long that I will be here when the comet is coming again (you are doing math).

So I suppose I just have to hit a picture of some of “Halley’s children” this weekend.

Editor’s Note: If you snap a great photo or video of the orionid meteor shower that you want to share with and our news partners for any story or image gallery, send photos and comments to spacephotos @

Joe Rao works as instructor and guest lecturer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for the newspaper Natural History, Farmers Almanac and other publications, and he is a meteorologist on camera for Verizon FiOS1 Lower Hudson Valley. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. Original article on

Published by