The 2013 Orionid meteor shower occurs every year in mid-October whenever planet Earth passes through the stream of dust that the wake of Comet Halley left. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) all-sky fireball camera network was able to capture a video of the Orionid meteor shower peak on Sunday, October 20.
According to the SpaceWeather.com report, the all-sky network spotted a total of 15 Orionid fireballs during its peak time dated October 20 and 21. "Bits of dust left in the comet's wake burn up in the atmosphere, creating the potentially brilliant annual light show. About 75 percent of the meteors seen during the Orionids originated from the nucleus of Halley's Comet," Joe Rao, the SPACE.com skywatching columnist, stated.
The Orionid meteor shower is expected to begin diminishing with the last light streaks appearing in either early or mid of November 2013. Viewers will be able to see a bright fireball if they stay up past midnight or get out of bed before the crack of dawn.
A sky watcher named Chris Bakley captured a remarkable image of the Orionid meteor shower peak in North Cape May, New Jersey. "The shot was taken only a couple minutes after moonrise while the moon was still low on the horizon. The lager [larger] star in this picture is Venus, the moon was behind me," Mr Bakley shared to SPACE.com through a sent email.
"When the shower is at its best, observers can expect to see about 20 meteors per hour," Anthony Cook, head of the telescope program at Griffith Observatory, declared. However, the viewing conditions for the 2013 Orionid meteor shower are not ideal due to the nearly full Moon light that can obscure the visibility of the meteor display.
"With city lights and the moonlight, you might be lucky to see two an hour. But if they are bright, it will be like free fireworks," Mr Cook further stated. The exceptional celestial display of the Orionid meteor shower will be visible both in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
To those who wish to view a fireball, NASA suggests that viewers should lie down on their back between midnight and dawn with feet pointed in the southeast direction if the viewers are located in the Northern hemisphere. The sky watchers must also allow their eyes to adjust to the darkness for approximately 30 minutes before relaxing and enjoying the sky display.
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