-  Thursday 13 May 2021

Orionid Meteor Shower 2008

 -  Shyam Krishna KHAKUREL

Kathmandu, Oct 08 2008 - The annual Orionid Meteor Shower is expected to exhibit moderate outburst of shooting stars from late Monday night (20 October 2008) to early morning of Tuesday (21 October 2008). Starting roughly from about midnight on Monday from the radiant in constellation Orion (Hunter) which would be fairly high in eastern sky,

Depending on weather conditions and assuming dark skies during observations people could see up to 20-25 shooting stars per hour. The fiery streaks during this maximum period is likely to be faint as they are created by very small meteoroid grains that speed with about 66 kilometers per second and burn up at circa 50 – 70 kilometers in our atmosphere above earth’s surface. This time, the moon in waning gibbous phase creates some trouble for the people who have planned to enjoy the excitement of meteor shower for the first time. We would like to suggest them to wait until Geminid Meteor Shower in December which is one of the strongest meteor shower of the year.Generally, Orionid meteor shower becomes active from October 16-October 27 but October 20-24 is good time to witness this shower as the moon is in waning phase.

Orionid Meteor Shower result from disintegration of tiny pieces of ancient debris left behind by repeated passages through the inner Solar System of the parent Comet 1/P Halley, when these wee particles slam into earth’s atmosphere at tremendous speed. Each October, earth crosses various dense trails of these old materials, which have spread out over centuries. As Comet Halley returns to perihelion (closest point to Sun), it generates new trail of meteoroids and dust each time. These narrow paths are regions that have high density of meteoroids. When the earth passes through this track each year around October 16-October 27, Orionid Meteor Shower is witnessed.

Meteor Shower

As comets orbit the Sun, they shed icy, dusty gaseous debris along the comet's orbit. If earth travels through this stream, we witness a meteor shower. Depending on where earth would meet the rocky torrent, meteors appear to fall from a particular place in the sky. Meteor showers are named after the constellation from which meteors appear to emanate. This spot is called the radiant. An increase in the number of meteors at a particular time of year is called a Meteor Shower. Luminous streaks of light across the night sky caused by petite bits of interplanetary rock and exiguous rubbles called meteoroids crashing and burning in earth's upper atmosphere. Travelling at unimaginable speeds of thousands of kilometers per hour, meteoroids quickly ignite and are destroyed in searing friction of our atmosphere modestly 50 to 100 kilometers above the ground. The rare few survive the incineration as shooting or falling stars and hit the earth as meteorites.

Other articles by reporter Shyam Krishna KHAKUREL

Great post with lots of impotrnat stuff.

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