|2017-10-21: Orionids Meteor Shower ⬅︎|
| Most people love meteor showers -- the streaks of light come and go so quickly. One never knows when or where the next one will appear. Meteors, also known as shooting stars, are just tiny pieces of rock and dust left behind by passing comets. When they collide with earth's atmosphere, their great speeds cause the flashes of light that we see as they burn up.
The Orionids are caused by the debris left behind by comet Halley. They can be viewed between October 2nd and November 7th and typically peak on or around October 21st.
The Orionids are considered to be one of the most beautiful showers of the year. They are known for their brightness and for their speed -- they travel at about 148,000 mph. Fast meteors can leave glowing "trains" (incandescent bits of debris in the wake of the meteor) which last for several seconds to minutes. Fast meteors can also sometimes become fireballs.
The radiant, the point from which the meteors appear to come, lies in the constellation Orion. But they can be seen over a large area of the sky. They are best viewed after midnight.