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Orionid Meteor Shower to Light Up October Sky -- What You Need to Know

Sep 27, 2016 04:00 AM EDT
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Meteor shower from the famous Halley's Comet , called Orionids will peak on Oct. 22.
(Photo : George Varros and Dr. Peter Jenniskens/NASA/Getty Images)

Stargazers are in for a treat this October after the fabulous Perseid meteor showeranother spectacular shooting star event is set to light the sky next month. On Oct. 22, stargazers can enjoy the peak of the Orionid meteor shower.

Astronomers at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) reminded the public about the upcoming Orionid Meteor shower next month. This particular shower of dust materials coming in contact with Earth's atmosphere is associated with Comet Halley. The Orionids from Halley is quite interesting because the origin of the meteors is one of the most popular comets there is.

Astronomers have observed Halley's comet since 240 BC. But in 1705, Edmund Halley was the one who discovered that the comets that appear historically every 76 years is actually just one comet that orbits the Sun. 

As the comet comes near the Sun, dust particles and gasses were dispelled due to the heat. The dust particles remain as a tail of the comet, the Earth then rendezvous with the comet's tail of debris. The plummeting dust particles, when it touches the Earth's atmosphere, creates a spark of bright lights speeding through the sky that can be seen from the ground in the form of shooting stars.

The annual Orionid meteor shower occurs every year from Oct. 21. For those interested in watching the Orionids, experts say that the best time to observe is between midnight and early dawn. It is also advisable to avoid areas with light pollution as the meteor shower can be best observed in areas with clear skies.

The prediction this year is that during the peak of the shower, around 20 meteors per hour can be spotted The peak is expected to occur on a Saturday, Oct. 22. Usually, the shower lasts for two days.

Aside from the famous Orionid meteor shower that will peak on Oct. 22, the New Jersey Herald reported that there could be as much as seven showers in October including Camelopardalid,  Draconidsl, Southern Taurids, Delta Augurids, Epsilon Geminids and Leo Minorids.


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