March 20, 2019

Debris from Halley's Comet to spark Orionid meteor shower this weekend

21 October 2018, 04:52 | Dale Webster

Kazushi Inagaki Getty Images

Shirakawa-go and Orionid meteor shower

If you trace the path that the meteors take, they seem to originate from a point in the constellation of Orion which gives the shower its name.

There's good news and bad news about this year's Orionid meteor shower, which should throw off some beauties before dawn on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, before it reaches its peak early Monday.

At its peak, the shower usually produces between 10 and 20 meteors per hour.

However, you can go out on any clear night between now and November 7 to catch a few meteors.

The almost full moon will be shining brightly in the sky for most of the night, making it harder to see some of the dimmer meteors, but it will not ruin the celestial show completely.

The Orionid meteor shower isn't the most productive shower of the year, but its closeness to the easy-to-spot Orion and its association with Halley's comet make it a well-known one.

"Debris from Haley's Comet on the other side of the solar system causes the Eta Aquarius meteor shower in spring, but the Orionids are the more active shower", Samuhel added.

The skies need to be clear too, with very little or no cloud cover.

The meteors are bits of space rock that have entered the earth's atmosphere.

To get the best chance of seeing the spectacular, keep away from light pollution.

The latest spectacular astronomical event is set to reach its peak in the coming days when debris from Halleys Comet will be spotted in the night sky.

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