Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Different Kind of Storm

Now that we've gotten the first snow storm of 2015-2016 out of the way, here is a different kind of storm - of meteors.

Halley's comet has a 75 year orbit around the Sun.  One of many interesting things about Mark Twain is that he was born, and he died, in a Halley's comet year. 

Every October, the Earth passes through the trail of debris that the comet leaves behind.  It is happening now.
If you can get up before dawn tomorrow (October 21) you should get a treat, the annual Orionid meteor shower. Forecasters expect the shower to peak tonight, Oct. 20-21, with as many as 20 meteors per hour. No matter where you live, the best time to look is during the dark hours before sunrise on Wednesday the 21st.  Visit Spaceweather.com for sky maps and more information.

The showers get their name from the fact that they seem to be shooting out of Orion's hand.  So, get up early, face southwest, and look for Orion.

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