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10/20/11 – Ephemeris – The Orionid meteor shower

October 20, 2011

Thursday, October 20th.  The sun will rise at 8:03.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 46 minutes, setting at 6:50.   The moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 1:40 tomorrow morning.  |  The Orionid meteor shower will reach its peak tomorrow morning.  Like most meteor showers, this is best seen just before dawn.  As the name suggests the so-called shooting stars will seem to come from the constellation Orion the hunter.  They will appear to come from above the rectangular torso of the giant.  These meteors actually have nothing to do with Orion, but they are the light flashes from bits of rock that were once part of Halley’s comet, as they burn up in the earth’s atmosphere.  In Halley’s many passes close to the sun, much of its solid material has been liberated by the evaporating gasses, leaving a trail of litter in its orbit.  The earth passes through this debris every May and now, in October.

* Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.


Orionid Radiant

Orionid Radiant

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