Halley’s Comet is one of the most popular meteors that pass near the Earth, and it has been doing so for centuries. However, because it is only visible every 75 years, do not expect to get a glimpse of it more than twice in an entire lifetime.
However, a report says that aside from the arrival of the actual meteor, another awaited phenomenon is the Orionids shower. These smaller meteors come from Halley’s comet, and pass through the Earth’s atmosphere, forming a meteor shower that lasts for hours.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 21, 2015
Usually, the meteor shower consists of about 20 “shooting stars” per hour, although that may not be the case this year. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said that the number of shooting stars might be fewer, and the Orionids would show “weaker activity” than usual. “Bits of comet dust hitting the atmosphere will probably give us about a dozen meteors per hour,” said Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environments Office. Orionids are reportedly very quick, with speeds reaching up to 150,000mph, and as a result, they may burn up even before they hit the lower parts of the atmosphere, or the ground.
In these cases, the shooting stars are said to leave smoke-like marks across the sky.
Unlike the actual meteors shooting from the sky, meteor smoke is much easier to spot because it lasts a bit longer.
The Orionids meteor shower from the Halley’s Comet will reportedly begin Wednesday night and last until early Thursday morning. Interested stargazers can check the constellations of Orion and Gemini because this is the region from where the Orionids usually fall.
Meanwhile, the Perseids already fell in August and just in time for the new moon, while the Geminids meteor shower is expected to arrive in December.
For astronomy enthusiasts who await Halley’s Comet, which last appeared in 1986, they will have to wait until 2061 to see it.