During October, you will have the chance to watch one of the most impressive space events of the year: the Orionids meteor shower. If your region has a free evening and a clear sky, as well as an area with minimal light pollution, then look up – you will be able to catch the beautiful streaks of meteors flying over you.
Meteor showers occur once a year because when the Earth orbits the Sun, it passes through clouds of dust and small debris. These fragments are left behind by comets crossing the Earth’s orbit. The Orionids meteor shower is associated with the famous Halley’s comet, which approaches the Earth so close that it can be seen with the naked eye, although this happens only once every 75 years. Nevertheless, the comet left behind a noticeable trace, making the observation of the meteor shower an interesting annual experience.
The Orionids meteor shower has already started on Sunday, October 2 and will be observed until Monday, November 7. Its peak will come on the night of October 20, when 10 to 20 meteors per hour will be visible. The next few weeks will be a great time to keep an eye on the sky. According to NASA, the Moon will be filled by about 20% during the peak of the shower, which will entail small obstacles when observing at dawn, but should not worsen the impression of contemplation in general.
To watch the meteor shower, you will need to go out on a clear night and get into a comfortable position to look at the night sky. Many amateur astronomers like to use a chaise longue for this, in order to have a comfortable viewing angle facing southeast. It is also important to give your eyes some time to get used to the dark and try to stay away from light sources, for example, not to look at your smartphone. Most importantly, don’t forget to dress warmly on these cool autumn nights if you plan to contemplate meteors before dawn.
Earlier we showed how the Perseid meteor shower of 2022 occurred in fascinating photos.
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