The annual Orionid meteor shower reached its peak on Wednesday night, giving sky geysers in the UK a chance to see week-long sky views.
According to NASA, the event will bring “illuminated prolonged explosions”, with up to 20 “shooting stars” per hour illuminating the sky.
Scattered clouds and rain in many parts of the UK at Widnes may mean the best chance to see Orionids on Thursday, when the weather conditions appear to be more favorable.
The UK Met Office forecasts “heavy and incessant rain” for the period Tuesday and Wednesday, but a “basically dry Thursday”.
Despite peeking out this week, the Orionid meteor shower will remain visible until Nov. 7 after first appearing on Oct. 2.
The best way to look at these is to look for a region of the sky near the Orion star-inspired club, which can be seen just before dawn.
The meteors will fire in all directions but will come out just above Orion – best known for its three-star belt.
Known as the hunter from Greek mythology, Orion is one of the most prominent and recognized constellations and is located in the southwestern sky of the Northern Hemisphere.
There are various free and premium smartphone applications for both Android and iOS devices that can be used to detect Orion using the phone’s built-in gyroscope.
Useful astronomy applications include Skyview Lite, Sky Safari and Sky Map.
Looking at the night sky allows NASA to give your eyes up to 45 minutes to adjust to the darkness. During this time, people are encouraged not to look at the phone screen or other light sources.
Once adjusted, light trails with naked eyes should be seen from the naked, lasting from a few seconds to a few minutes.
A recent blog post on NASA’s website states: “Quick meteorites can sometimes turn into fires: look for long light bursts while watching the Orionid meteor shower.”
The U.S. Space Agency further said that optimistic viewers should go to an area that is as far away from urban light pollution as possible.
The International Meteorological Organization says the 2020 Orionid meteor shower could see an unusually large peak.
Incidentally when the Earth travels the path of Halley’s Comet, the Orionids can produce a good 70 meters per hour per year.
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