Science

Orionid meteor shower to light up Qatar skies on Monday

Orionid meteor shower to light up Qatar skies on Monday”

Under the best of circumstances, sky watchers can see between 10 and 20 streaks per hour, though the moon might reduce visibility somewhat this year.

Constellation Orion, which serves as the Orionids' radiant, will be the hub of the meteor shower, however, NASA recommends to view the Orionids 45 to 90 degrees away from this point.

"In exceptional years, such as 2006-2009, the peak rates were on par with the Perseids (50-75 per hour)", the American Meteor Society (AMS) says.

Each time that Halley's comet passes through the inner solar system on its orbit, its nucleus expels ice and rock particles into space.

The Orionid meteor shower happens throughout the fall season. The phenomenon is named after the Orion constellation which is one of the brightest groups of stars in the sky.

Halley's Comet won't be visible from Earth for another 42 years but you can see pieces of Halley's Comet over the next two nights as a part of the Orionid Meteor Shower, which is set to peak on October 21 and 22. Meteorologist Raymond Klaassen advises that you keep looking for the shooting stars in the days to come, as there is increased celestial activity before and after the peak of the shower. Since his three-studded belt sits along the equator, the Orionids shower is one of the few meteor showers that is visible from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

After that, the meteor shower will slowly wind down until Earth leaves the minefield of Halley's orbit. The best time to view the shower will be between midnight and 4 a.m., and when dawn begins.

Meteor showers are best seen when the skies are at their darkest.

This meteor shower may not be the most spectacular of the year, but it delights in other ways.

A lovely sight though binoculars and easy to see with the naked eye from a dark sky site, Collinder 69 can be found just above Orion the Hunter's head. "The dust grains eventually become the Orionids in October and the Eta Aquarids in May if they collide with Earth's atmosphere".

You can also use Timeanddate.com's Interactive Meteor Show Sky Map to find the current direction of a meteor shower in the sky.



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