The rarity of certain astronomical events is such that getting to witness it is considered nothing short of pure luck. After all, it is not every day (night, in this case) that you get to see shooting stars. One such rare event is all set to occur tonight. Enthusiastic sky gazers are all set to witness a meteor shower that’s been described as a “compensation” for those who might miss the Halley’s comet’s fly-by in 2069. According to the Telegraph, debris of the tail end the famous comet will be visible in the skies during Orionid meteor shower.
Halley’s comet passes the Earth every 75 to 76 years is the only short-period comet that is usually visible to the naked eye. The comet was last fully visible from Earth in February 1986. Twice a year, once in early May and again late October, you get a chance to witness a stunning meteor shower when the revolving earth moves through the particles deposited in the inner solar system in 1986.
So, this opportunity is considered to be a very special one. “The Orionid meteor shower is one of the best known and most reliable meteor showers in the annual calendar, visible from across the globe,” said a spokesman for the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
The phenomenon occurs when the particles that hit the Earth energize and enter the atmosphere as fireballs, glowing for a millisecond. This is estimated to occur as many as 40 times every hour to create a meteor shower. This event will be happening on October 21 and 22, 2019, giving us a view of the shooting stars from the Orionid meteor shower. Though it will continue till November 7, the meteor shower is expected to peak around 11:30 pm on 21 October.
For people who want to view the shooting stars from the Orionid meteor shower, the best time to watch it is after midnight. According to Forbes, a lawn chair or deckchair is perfect to watch the shooting stars. Sky gazers are advised to get your eyes adjusted to the dark and look southeast towards Orion.
“You need a dark sky and a lot of patience in order to see the comets. I would advise people to wrap up warm, head away from the cities, lie down staring up at the sky and don’t use telescope or binoculars. In fact, they are probably quite unhelpful as you need to be looking at as much of the sky as you can,” said Rob Jessel, from the Royal Astronomical Society to Telegraph.
Traveling over 40 km from a town help you find the perfect dark sky for the viewing. It is also important to keep your focus on the sky as white light from distractions like your smartphones can disrupt your night vision. Keep away from any kind of artificial light to get a better view. So, get it all ready before you head out to watch the rare sight.