Uranus and the Orionid shower liven up the sky

by Dominic Parks October 20, 2017, 0:36
Uranus and the Orionid shower liven up the sky

Orionid meteors appear every year around this time when Earth orbits through an area of space littered with debris from Halley's Comet, according to NASA.

Those who hope for a sight of Uranus should look for a blue-green body, visible to the naked eye when looking to the skies in the southeast.

While the Orionid shower runs from October 2 to November 7 this year, the heavenly theatrics will be most robust in the predawn hours of Saturday when the greatest number of meteors are expected to slip into Earth's atmosphere.

Individual meteors have already been dashing across the nigh sky from October 15 and should remain visible until October 29.

"The Orionid meteor shower is very reliable, plus the number of shooting stars it produces has been increasing in the past few years", museum researcher Lee Chin (李瑾) said.

Although they can not rival the three major yearly meteor showers - the Quadrantids, Perseids and Geminids - the Orionids are known for their consistent intensity and their easy visibility, as they are both bright and appear near the zenith in Taiwan, the museum said.

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Experts say the best time to view the shower is after midnight and before dawn.

However if you spot a streaking meteor, you should be able to trace its path back to the its origin next to Orion's club. If you missed it, you'll have to wait until 2061-62 for another chance, because Halley's Comet only comes around these parts once every 76 years.

Look up in the night sky and you may just be lucky enough to see shooting stars.

The Orionids are incredibly fast meteors, and crash into Earth's atmosphere at a speed of 66 km/s.

But the shower's radiant point is mostly irrelevant because the meteors will shoot out in all sorts of directions, and usually remain unseen until about 30 degrees form the radiant. Numerous falling stars leave ionised trails of glowing gas in their path.


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