Thoughts about Flashes in the Night
A finder chart for the Orionids this year. The radiant is simply the direction from which most of the Orionids appear to “radiate” from in the sky. It’s not an actual circle in the sky. Click for a bigger version.
I’m not a constant meteor shower watcher. Sure, I’ll go out for the Perseids and the Leonids, but the dozen or so other meteor showers that occur throughout the year aren’t always on my radar. They should be on mine and everybody else’s “check it out” list, if for no other reason than the cool realization that what you just saw flash through the sky as a meteor was a piece of solar system history vaporizing before your very eyes.
That’s the essence of what happens when a speck of dust or a grain of sand that used to be part of a comet or an asteroid encounters our atmosphere and does the cosmic dive of death. Pretty interesting to contemplate, isn’t it?
Meet the Orionids
There’s an upcoming meteor shower called the Orionids this week. It’s actually already happening, but the peak doesn’t occur until the late evening of the 21st into the ...