Orionids Meteor Shower 2011

The Orionid meteor shower is due to peak tonight (21st October). The Earth will be passing through a stream of material from Comet Halley and the forecasted rate of meteors is about 15 per hour.

The radiant of the shower, the point in the sky where the meteors appear to come from, is not too far from Betelguese – the orangey red supergiant in the Orion constellation (see the NASA radiant chart below). This part of the constellation should be observable from about midnight and, although there is a crescent Moon rising about the same time, you should be able to see some meteors around that time.

Orionid meteors tend to be quite fast moving, but often leave noticable trails. To improve your chances of seeing them go to as dark a site as possible with a comfortable chair and try to view as much of the sky as possible, watching away from the Moon. Also remember that you won’t see too meterors many looking directly at the radiant, as the trails are shorter and so harder to see. With a wide-angle SLR camera lens and some patience (and sometimes a whole lot more patience!), you may be able to image a meteor.

Sources: NASA, SPA

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Posted on 21 October, 2011, in Astronomy News, Popular Science, Stargazing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Orionids Meteor Shower 2011.

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