Orionid meteor shower to peak next week: Everything you should know

James Marshall
October 21, 2019

The Orionid meteor shower is due to reach its peak tonight (Monday, October 21). Known for their brightness and speed of about 148,000 miles per hour, the meteors can leave glowing "trains" - incandescent bits of debris in the wake of the meteor - which can last for several seconds to minutes, according to NASA.

The "Orionid" meteor shower will illuminate the northern hemisphere sky including Qatar tomorrow.

The Orionids are viewable in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres during the hours after midnight. The radiant of the Orionids is located near the constellation Orion. Petar Petrov. The higher the radiant point in the sky, the more meteors you can expect to see.

"Be patient - the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse", NASA told skywatchers.

Instead, the best to tip is to simply sit back and try to see as much of the night sky at once as possible.

As they burn up the particles appear as shooting stars, creating bright streaks in the sky.

The good news is there is no specific part of the sky you will need to look at.

Meteors come from leftover comet particles and bits of broken asteroids.

When the icy space rock zips around the solar system, its outer layers slowly crumble away under the Sun's intense heat. The Orionid meteor shower occurs each year as a result of Earth passing through cosmic dust released by Halley's Comet.

Generally, residents do not need astronomical instrumentations to observe meteor showers, and so residents will be able to view the Orionid meteor showers with naked eye from places without light and environment pollutions (pure sky) and darker places.

Orionid meteors are the orbital debris of the world-famous Comet Halley or Halley's Comet. The dust grains eventually become the Orionids in October and the Eta Aquarids in May as they collide with the Earth's atmosphere.

"The famous comet swings by the earth only once every 75 to 76 years but this annual shower provides some compensation for those who may miss that once in a lifetime event". It was last seen by casual observers in 1986 and would not enter the inner solar system until 2061, NASA said. When they pass by our sun, the dust they emit "gradually spreads into a dusty trail around their orbits". The comet returned - as Halley predicted - after he was dead and it was named in his honor.

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