Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks October 21-22!

Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks October 20/21!
An Orionid meteor next to the constellation Orion

The annual Orionid meteor shower is created when Earth passes through trails of comet debris left in space long ago by Halley's Comet as it orbits around the sun. The meteors, or "shooting stars", develop when pieces of rock typically no larger than a pea, and mostly the size of a grain of sand, vaporize in Earth's upper atmosphere.

This is a composite shot of the best meteors that I caught during the Orionid meteor shower in 2014 over the course of several hours in Central Nevada:

Orionid Meteor Shower 2014
I used a star-tracking mount to follow Orion and produce that composite, so when I created a time-lapse from the same footage, it turned out like this:

 


For a perspective fixed on the ground with the sky moving, here's a time-lapse video from chasing the Orionid meteor shower in 2012 in the Mono Basin in the Eastern Sierra:



In 2014 Liz Horton at +ABC11-WTVD in Raleigh for using this Orionid Meteor shower time-lapse video to inform viewers about the Orionid meteor shower.  Here's ABC11's report informing viewers of the upcoming shower: http://abc11.com/weather/orionid-meteor-shower-visible-tuesday-night-/359788/

My 2015 Orionids photo featuring Venus, Jupiter and Mars has done well  on +Twitter so far:

Where will you pursue this year's Orionids?  In 2015, I suspect that the morning of the 23rd could be good after the moon sets.