Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Orionids Are Coming!

The Orionids generally begin on October 15 and continue until October 29.

Earth is entering a stream of dusty debris from Halley's Comet, and this is causing the annual Orionid meteor shower. If forecasters are correct, the shower will peak on Wednesday morning, Oct. 21st, with dozens of meteors per hour. The best time to look is during the dark hours before local dawn.

For the past three years, Orionid rates have been unusually high, with reports of 60 or more meteors per hour. Researchers believe this is a result of some very old and rich debris from Comet Halley drifting across Earth's orbit. Computer models of the debris suggest that it is still in the neighborhood, so the trend of "good Orionids" could continue in 2009. Visit Spaceweather for photos and updates.

Enjoy the night sky, its wonderful to watch on a cool autumn night.

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