Come October, the Orionids meteor shower will light up the sky and this is visible in both the Northern and Southern Hempishere. The meteor shower originates from the famous Halley’s Comet and the meteors are active in October till early November. According to Space.com, the Orionids Meteor shower will peak this year on the night of October 22-23, but a bright moon could play spoilsport with the viewing. Here is everything to know about the Orionids meteor shower
Orionids meteor shower 2019: What time of the year?
According to NASA, the Orionids peak during mid-October each year. This is the time when they are brightest in the sky. Orionids are considered to be one of the most beautiful showers of the year, according to the US space agency.
The best time to view the meteor shower is late at night around 2.00 am, and preferably in an area away from the city. City Lights cause light pollution, which can mar the view of a meteor shower. This year, the Orionid shower will be on from October 15 to October 29, with best views expected on October 21, 22 and 23.
Orionids meteor shower 2019: Can you watch in India?
The Orionids can be seen from anywhere on Earth and are visible in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. So they will be visible in India as well. The best time to view the meteor shower is after midnight.
According to NASA, for those in the Northern Hemisphere, their feet should face southeast while viewing the shower. Like any other celestial event, it is best viewed away from the city. NASA’s page explains, “In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient — the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.”
Orionids meteor shower 2019: Where do they come from
The Orionids are really fast and travel at about 148,000 mph or 66 km per seconds. These fast meteors will leave glowing “trains” in the sky, which lasts for several seconds to minutes. They sometimes also become fireballs. Orionids originate from the space debris left behind by comet 1P/Halley.
Every time that Halley comet returns to the inner solar system, it sheds ice and rocky dust into space and when the Earth passes through this, it become the Orionids meteor shower in October. The dust particles collide with Earth’s atmosphere and we get the meteor shower in the skies. In May, these are known as the Eta Aquarids.
The Halley’s comet takes about 76 years to orbit the sun once. It was last seen in 1986 and will enter the inner solar system again in 2061. The point in the sky from which the Orionids appear to come from is the constellation Orion, hence the name for the meteor shower. NASA says that it is actually better to view the Orionids from 45 to 90 degrees away from the radiant as they will appear longer and more spectacular from this perspective.