Orionids are debris from comet Halley that graced Earth’s skies in 1986 and is expected to return to the vicinity of the Sun in 2061. Orionids tend to be quite fast, hitting the Earth’s atmosphere at 66 km /sec. This is fast enough to cross the Atlantic Ocean in about a minute! Peak activity is expected on the night of 21 October. Although the full moon in the SE will impede viewing of the shower, Orionids are intrinsically bright so some will likely be spotted above the eastern or northern horizon from about midnight.

Left: The nucleus of comet Halley, imaged by the Giotto spacecraft in 1986. Right: A bright Orionid lights up the autumn sky.


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