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How to watch, weather and locations in Australia



The orionid rain meteor will come tonight, sprinkling the remnants of Halley's comet in Earth's atmosphere and creating a dazzling display.

This meteor shower may not be the most spectacular of the year, but it works in other ways. Orionids occur every year between October 2 and November 7.

The climax occurs when the Earth passes through the debris left by Comet Halley as we intersect its orbit every year. Halley's Comet itself was last seen in our skies in 1986, and will reappear in 2061. The comet appears every 76 years on its journey around the sun, according to NASA.

Meteors extend over the night sky during Orionid meteors. Photo by Yuri Smitiuk  TASS via Getty Images
Meteors extend over the night sky during Orionid meteors. Photo by Yuri Smitiuk TASS via Getty Images (TASS via Getty Images)

Meteors radiate from the well-known constellation Orion, but you should not look in the constellation's direction to see them. In fact, you probably shouldn't because these meteors will have short paths and will be harder to see.

The best time to see this meteor shower, which during the peak window, could produce 10 to 20 meteors per hour is when the moon does not dominate the night sky. This is because these meteors are weaker than the rain of Perseid.

The meteor shower will reach midnight tonight. The best view will be during the short window between the moon setting and the beginning of the morning twilight. Allow yourself an hour or two to observe.

Orionids are also hard to see because they are so fast. They enter our atmosphere at a speed of 65 kilometers per second, evaporating in our upper atmosphere about 96 kilometers above Earth's surface.

Some were speeding at 238,000 kilometers per hour. But there is no danger of these great meteors colliding with Earth. Some of the meteoroids are just the size of a grain of sand. But they leave beautiful traces of gas that can stretch for a few seconds after the meteor itself disappears. Or they can be broken up into bright fragments.

Find an outdoor space outside the city that will give you a wide view of the sky, and don't forget to bring a blanket or chair and dress for the weather. Allow yourself time for your eyes to adjust to the dark. And you won't need binoculars or a telescope to enjoy the show.


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