Home > Ephemeris Program, Meteor Shower > 10/20/2015 – Ephemeris – Halley’s Comet returns… in bits and pieces

10/20/2015 – Ephemeris – Halley’s Comet returns… in bits and pieces

October 20, 2015

Ephemeris for Tuesday, October 20th.  The Sun will rise at 8:04.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 45 minutes, setting at 6:50.   The Moon, at first quarter today, will set at 12:53 tomorrow morning.

Halley’s Comet is back!  Well sorta.  In the form of the Orionid meteor shower.  Bits of Halley’s Comet from previous passes by the Earth’s orbit make their twice yearly show in our skies as these bits collide with the Earth’s atmosphere.  Halley’s orbit passes close to the earth’s orbit at points where the Earth is around May 6th and again near October 21st.  Light dust get blown back into the tail of the comet.  Heavier particles, still affected by the pressure of sunlight and the gravitational pull of the Sun and planets end up roughly following the comet’s orbit.  Tonight night after the Moon sets should be the best time to see them.  They will seem to come from a spot above Orion and below Gemini.

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

Addendum

Orionid Radiant

Orionid Radiant

Halley's meteor shower

We get two meteor showers from Halley’s Comet. The Orionids, when Halley is approaching the inner solar system, and the Eta Aquariids when it’s leaving. Credit my LookingUp program.

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