The Orionid Meteor Shower: Don't miss your chance this year!

Orionid shower to illuminate Qatar skies tomorrow

Orionid shower to illuminate Qatar skies tomorrow  20 Oct 2019- 12:07 Representational image

The Orionid Meteor Shower takes place every year around mid-October, providing you with the flawless opportunity to see a shooting star.

The peak occurs when the Earth passes through a debris stream left by the Comet Halley as we intersect its orbit each year at this time.

The next predicted perihelion of Halley's Comet is 28 July 2061.

"The famous comet swings by the earth only once every 75 to 76 years but this annual shower provides some compensation for those who may miss that once in a lifetime event".

The Orionids appear to radiate from the constellation Orion (The Hunter) but knowing that is not necessary to spot them because they stretch across the entire night sky. In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors.

Astronomy page Met Alert Ireland have said that best viewing will be after midnight, with up to 20 meteors zooming through the skies each hour, going at speeds of 240,000 kmh.

Halley's Comet won't be visible from Earth for another 42 years but you can see pieces of Halley's Comet over the next two nights as a part of the Orionid Meteor Shower, which is set to peak on October 21 and 22.

"The showers will continue at a reduced rate, so if the Moon obscures the peak, you may still be able to catch a few throughout the rest of October".

Stargazers, however, will unlikely see them until they have moved from Orion in a random direction. Known for their brightness and speed of about 148,000 miles per hour, the meteors can leave glowing "trains" - incandescent bits of debris in the wake of the meteor - which can last for several seconds to minutes, according to NASA. Some of the meteoroids are only the size of a grain of sand. Or they can break up into bright fragments.

If you are planning on basking under cinematic skies, it's worth finding a secluded spot (away from city lights, if possible) and giving your eyes a decent amount of time to adjust to the dark.

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