February 21, 2020

AstroEvent of the Week: October 20th-26th, 2008. The Orionid Meteors.

Brace yourselves… meteor season is now well underway. Fresh off the tail of the elusive Draconids early this month comes the Orionids, a decent shower emanating from the shoulder of Orion, near the star Betelgeuse. This shower is due to peak the morning of October 22nd, producing several swift meteors.

The famous Halley’s Comet is the progenitor of this shower, along with the Eta Aquarids. Zenithal Hourly Rates of up to or over 10 per hour are expected; however, a last quarter Moon rising around midnight will also interfere. It’s always worth looking a morning or two prior to or after the target date; sometimes these showers have a way of being unpredictable. Rates for the Orionids have been picking up in recent years, so they’re worth a look. And this is one event you need absolutely no equipment to observe! Also, watch this spot for an up and coming “How to” observing guide on meteor showers from Astroguyz!

The Astro word of the week is bolide. This is an exceptionally bright meteor, usually detonating in a flash. Some can leave lingering streaks or smoke trails; definitely worth keeping the (image stabilized) binocs handy!

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