The peak of the Orion meteor shower will be visible in the Polish sky this week. These meteors come from Halley’s Comet and leave bright, fast streaks in the sky.
Orionids are active from October 2 until the first days of November, but the maximum swarm falls on the night of October 21-22 – this year the night will be from Saturday to Sunday.
As NASA explains, the Orionids are considered one of the most beautiful showers of the year – the meteors that form from them are known for their brightness and speed. Fragments of space rocks fly through Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of 66 kilometers per second, sometimes leaving trails of light that persist in the sky for up to several minutes. Rapid meteors can also sometimes become fireballs.
The Orionids are also surrounded by some of the brightest stars in the night sky. The stars provide a stunning backdrop for these amazing glows. In the case of this shower, you can count on observing an average of 20 meteors per hour.
Orionides. How to observe a meteor shower
The shower’s radiance, the point from which meteor flashes originate, rises before midnight and peaks in the sky around 2 a.m. It is located near Betelgeuse in the Orion constellation. For observation, it is helpful to find a place away from city or street lights.
October nights are indeed black nights. In June and July, the sun hides shallowly below the horizon. Now the nights are darker, so you can see the faintest meteors, said Jerzy Rafalski of the Space Planetarium Center in Toruń.
However, weather conditions may pose an obstacle to observations. Saturday and Sunday will be cloudy and rainy. On October 22, the moon will enter its first quarter phase, meaning the eastern half of its disk will be visible in the sky — and this could make observations difficult, too.
>>> See also: Meteor shower – what is this phenomenon? When can you observe it in Poland?
Where did the Orionists come from?
Pieces of space junk that interact with our atmosphere to form orids come from comet 1P/Halley. Every time an object passes through our solar system, it leaves behind chunks of ice and rock along its orbit that intersects Earth’s orbit. When the debris enters the atmosphere, it turns into a meteor shower – Orionids in October and Eta Aquaridians in May.
Comet Halley takes about 76 years to orbit the Sun once. It was last seen in 1986, which means it won’t visit us again until 2061.
Orionids will not be the only interesting phenomenon we will see in the Polish sky in October. On Saturday, October 28, we will witness a partial lunar eclipse.
PAP, NASA, time and date, tvnmeteo.pl
Main image source: shutterstock | Illustrative image
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