The dazzling Orionid meteor shower is expected to peak at the tail end of this weekend and you don’t want to miss out on the much-anticipated celestial event.
The annual shower has been called “one of the most beautiful showers of the year” by Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, and is a popular celestial event for stargazers everywhere.”
Here are 11 things you need to know about the 2018 Orionid meteor shower:
Why are these meteor showers called Orionids?
The meteors radiate (or originate) from a region close to the constellation Orion the Hunter.
What causes the meteor shower?
According to Space.com, the meteor’s particles come from Comet 1P, also known as Halley’s Comet, which zips by the planet every 75 to 76 years.
As the comet passes Earth, it leaves behind “a trail of comet crumbs,” and every now and then, the Earth’s orbit around the sun crosses paths with the comet’s debris.
What’s the difference between a meteoroid, meteor and meteorite. anyway?
Cooke told Space.com that a meteoroid is essentially space debris. For example, the crumbs from Halley’s Comet are meteoroids.
Once the meteoroids enter Earth’s atmosphere, they become meteors (or shooting stars).
Though most meteors disintegrate before hitting the ground, meteors that do strike the surface of the planet are called meteorites, Cooke said.
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SOURCE: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fiza Pirani