Orionid Meteor Shower: Watch for meteors in the sky this weekend

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If you’re looking for a spectacular show this weekend, find the Orionid meteor shower shining brightly on Saturday and Sunday nights.

The shower is expected to end at 8 p.m. Sunday, but according to EarthSky, visible meteors are expected to spread across the sky at 10 to 20 per hour throughout the weekend, and can be seen from all parts of the world. that night

The best time to spot a meteor is early in the morning, as the radiance or point of origin of the meteor – in this case the constellation Orion – is at its highest around 2am in any time zone. , however Dr. Ashley King, a planetary science researcher The Natural History Museum in London said the meteors will start to appear after dark.

This weekend, the moon will be in its first quarter and set around midnight. According to the American Meteorological Society. That means its glow will interfere with the meteorite view a bit, King said.

“You have to wait until the moon goes down,” he said. “Even if you’re in a city, you can see a few meteors — it’s really just a case of looking at the sky and being patient.”

For the best chance of spotting a meteor, King recommends going outside for at least 10 to 20 minutes before stargazing to let your eyes adjust to the low light. If possible, it’s best to find a spot away from light pollution and with a clear view of the dark sky, King said.

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The Orianid meteors come from one of the most famous comets, Halley, which is currently in the middle of a 76-year orbit around the Sun. Although the comet won’t appear in Earth’s night sky until 2061, it leaves a trail of debris that passes our planet every year, resulting in the Orionids.

In early May, Earth passes through a different part of Halley’s orbit, resulting in a meteor shower called the Eta Aquarits.

“What you’re seeing are tiny cometary dust grains that are traveling very quickly,” King said. “When they enter the atmosphere, they heat up and vaporize, and you get that bright streak — that’s what we call a meteor.”

Orionides is bright and moving fast, at 148,000 miles per hour (238,183 kilometers per hour). According to NASA. Because of this high speed, Orionids often create long trails across the sky — visual evidence of dust being released when meteors heat up, King said.

Occasionally, meteor showers can have an unexpected spike in their meteor rates. From 2006 to 2009, Orianids saw between 50 and 75 meteors per hour. American Meteorological Society. Normal prices are expected this year, but there is always room for surprises. The organization states on its website.

“Not only are they spectacular — it’s exciting to see bright streaks across the sky, which you don’t see every day — but this is a grain of dust that formed 4.6 billion years ago,” King said. “It’s dust from the birth of the solar system.”

After the Orianids peak, the hourly rate of visible meteors begins to slow until the shower ends on November 22. If you missed the peak this weekend, there are five more meteors up for grabs. This year:

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● Southern Tarits: November 5-6

● Northern Torrids: November 11-12

● Leonidas: November 17-18

● Gemini: December 13-14

● Ursits: December 21-22

There are three more full moons in 2023. According to Farmers Almanac:

● October 28: Hunter’s Moon

● November 27: Beaver Moon

● December 26: Cold Moon

Lunar and solar eclipses

On October 14, people across North, Central and South America were able to experience the annual solar eclipse. During this event, the Moon formed a “ring of fire” in the sky between the Sun and Earth. This is the last solar eclipse until 2024.

However, a partial lunar eclipse will occur on October 28 and will be visible in Europe, Asia, Australia, parts of North America and most of South Africa. An eclipse occurs when part of the Moon passes into Earth’s shadow, causing the shadow to be visible on the Moon for a short period of time.

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