science

How to see the Orionid 2020 meteor shower, now active and nearing its climax

lspn-comet-halley

Comet Halley in 1986.

NASA

The waning moon sets the scene for some major meteor this week as the peak of the Orionid meteor shower approaches.

The Draconide meteor shower A stunning display from Mars in the night sky It served as the opening for the Orionids, which are already active and now visible. The waning crescent moon provides a mostly dark sky to aid your effort in spotting the shooting star for the next few nights.

Orion are really just bits of dust and debris left by the famous Comet Halley on its previous travels through the inner solar system. As our planet drifts through a comet debris cloud every year around this time, all that cosmic pebbles and dirt collide with our upper atmosphere and burn in a display that we see on Earth as falling stars and even an occasional fireball.

Orionids are considered a major meteor shower based on the amount of visible meteorites that can be seen racing towards inevitable doom during their period of activity, which roughly extends from the first week of October to the first week of November.

The offer is already active and American Meteor Society forecast A handful of meteors per hour could be visible for the next several days, leading to the peak on October 20 and October 21, when the number could rise to 20 per hour.

Orionids can summarize the old phrase “flash and you might miss it” as it enters our atmosphere at an extremely lightning speed of about 147,000 miles per hour (66 kilometers per second). However, a fair amount of these meteors leave lingering effects that last for a few seconds. Some even splinter and disintegrate in a more exciting way.

To catch the show, the advice is the same for all Celestial spectator events: Find a spot far from light pollution with a wide open view of the night sky. Tie him up if necessary, lie back, relax and let your eyes adjust. You don’t need to focus on any part of the sky, but the Orionids are so named because their paths appear to originate from the same general region in the sky as the constellation Orion and The bright star is Betelgeuse.

Possibly the best time to look for Orionids in 2020 is the early morning hours before dawn on October 21, but this shower is known to spill over its climax, so you should have a good chance of seeing some meteors if you wake up. As early as a few days before or after this peak date as well.

The moon will set before the morning peak viewing hours, another plus this year. Enjoy the show and as always, please share any cool meteor shots you may take with me on Twitter Embed a Tweet.

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Phil Schwartz

"Food expert. Unapologetic bacon maven. Beer enthusiast. Pop cultureaholic. General travel scholar. Total internet buff."

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