This Week The Heavens Will Display the Stunning Orionid Meteor Shower – Here’s The Scoop on How To Watch It!

The annual Orionid meteor shower,which is generated by the famous Halley’s Comet, is expected to rain down the greatest number of meteors before dawn on October 21 or 22.  It is estimated that as many as 10 to 20 meteors per hour will be visible during the peak hours.

This week’s Orionid meteor shower is your last chance of the year to catch a glimpse of this spectacular show!

Halley’s Comet is only visible from Earth once every 75 years, but residual chunks from its tail generate two annual meteor showers: the Eta Aquarids in May and the Orionids in October.

Meteor showers typically come from the dust particles that comets leave behind as they fly through the solar system.

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When Earth passes through a comet’s tail, its gravitational pull attracts their debris, which then enters the atmosphere, burns up, and is seen as a falling star or meteor.

The Orionids are extremely fast meteors, plummeting into the Earth’s atmosphere at about 66 kilometers – 41 miles – per second. Maybe half of the Orionid meteors leave persistent trains – ionized gas trails that last for a few seconds after the meteor itself has gone.

Orionid meteors are known to be fast and usually on the faint side. But the Orionids can sometimes surprise you with an exceptionally bright meteor – one that would be visible, even in a light-polluted city – that might break up into fragments.

What are the Prospects for this year’s Orionid Shower?

This years prospects for the Orionids are pretty good. The best time to watch is before dawn, after the moon sets. It’s a bright moon for much of the night at this year’s peak, but the predawn hours – best time to watch anyway – are moon-free.This custom sunrise-sunset/moonrise-moonset calendar can help you find the time of moonset in your location.

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.

Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:- Amos 5:8 (KJV).

This year’s shower is expected to give a pretty good show, offering between 10 to 20 meteors an hour at its peak.

You can find out the exact time dawn will approach in your area by checking out Gaisma.com.

Here’s a map from AccuWeather.com showing what the weather will be like across the country for Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning:

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And if it looks like clouds are going to float in, you can always check out the shower online via the live event, links, times, and event is listed at the end of the article.

When to Watch this Week’s Meteor Shower

The best time to see the Orionids this year, which is when the most meteors will be streaking across the sky, will be in the early morning hours — right before dawn — on Wednesday, Oct. 21 and Thursday, Oct. 22.

In order to spot just about any meteor shower, you need to get to a dark place, far from city lights. Sometimes the moon’s light can be a nuisance, but not this year.

Although the moon’s phase right now is a waxing crescent — meaning it is growing brighter every night — it will have set long before the Orionids peak during the pre-dawn hours. That means you’ll have a better show than you otherwise might.

Give yourself at least an hour of watching time for 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.

No special viewing equipment is needed. Just lay down on your back, look up, and enjoy the show.

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How to spot an Orionid meteor

Each meteor shower is named for the constellation from which they seem to appear. The Orionids, for example, are named for the constellation Orion.

But you don’t need to know this constellation to see the meteors. The meteors often don’t become visible until they are 30 degrees or so from their radiant point – and remember, they are streaking out from the radiant in all directions. So the meteors will appear in all parts of the sky.

That’s why it’s best to find a wide-open viewing area than to look in any particular direction. Sometimes friends like to watch together, facing different directions.

Luckily for amateur star gazers, Orion is one of the easiest constellations to pick out in the night sky. A sure way to spot it is to look for what is called Orion’s Belt, which is made of three bright stars in a straight line, identified in the image below.

orionids

There is a planetarium app Stellarium that you can customize to fit your specific location.

If you can’t check it out in person, you can always watch the live webcast from the online observatory, Slooh, which will begin at 8 pm ET on Wednesday Oct. 21.

Source:EarthSky

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PROPHECY:

And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke (Acts 2:19 KJV).

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork -Psalm 19:1 (KJV).

Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:- Amos 5:8 (KJV).

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