2015 Orionid Meteor Shower

orionid meteor shower

Halleys Comet Pic: Nasa.gov.

The 2015 Orionid Meteor shower will be visible on Wednesday the 21st and Thursday night the 22nd next. There are expected to be between 10 and 20 meteors an hour visible if clear skies permit. The best times to view the Orionid Meteor shower, which is also known as “shooting stars”, is between midnight and dawn.

The best place to view the the Meteor shower is out in the countryside are from street lights and light pollution. You will be able to see the Meteors (weather permitting) with your eyes, you won’t need binoculars or telescopes to view them. Look to the East/South East.

What are Orionid Meteors?
The Orionid meteors are debris left behind by Comet Halley. It’s that most famous of all comets – Comet Halley – which last visited Earth in 1986. This comet leaves debris in its wake that strikes Earth’s atmosphere most fully around October 20-22, while Earth intersects the comet’s orbit, as it does every year at this time.

Orionid meteors are known to be fast and usually on the faint side. But the Orionids can sometimes surprise you with an exceptionally bright meteor – one that would be visible, even in a light-polluted city – that might break up into fragments.

Particles shed by the comet slam into our upper atmosphere, where they vaporize at some 100 kilometers – 60 miles – above the Earth’s surface.
The Orionids are extremely fast meteors, plummeting into the Earth’s atmosphere at about 66 kilometers – 41 miles – per second. Maybe half of the Orionid meteors leave persistent trains – ionized gas trails that last for a few seconds after the meteor itself has gone.

How to photograph the Orionid Meteor shower:
To photograph of video the Orionid Meteor shower you will need to set up your camera on a steady tripod. You will need to use your widest lens that you have, 10/14mm would give better results. You will also need to manually focus, just off infinity is best. What settings to use? You can start with your widest apiture, ISO-1000 at a 20 second exposure. Vary your exposure times for different results, 15, 20, 25 or 30 second exposures.

orionid meteor shower 2015

Orionid Meteor shower 2015. Pic: stardate.org.

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