Meteor shower 2016 probably is not the best year for astronomy fans. One of the most awaited spectacles this month, the Orionids meteors’ visibility will be hampered by the bright moon appearing the same time as the meteor shower.
The Perseids meteors last August was the highlight of the meteor shower 2016 short line up. The other two showers expected are the upcoming Orionids meteors this October and the Geminids in December.
However, according to Space.com, viewing of the Orionids will not be as smooth-sailing as hoped for. Joining the shower’s peak on Friday is a very bright gibbous moon with half of its surface illuminated. Shining bright all night long, its glare will most definitely affect meteor shower 2016 observations.
Meteor Shower 2016: What are Orionids?
Each year, Orionids are visible from October 16 to 26, though some may appear even earlier. Sightings of the meteor shower can reach around 20 in an hour during a dark night. It is especially good to view pre-dawn.
The meteors can be located in between the constellations of Orion and Geminids, hence the name Orionids. The bright meteors seen come from the remnants of a comet’s nucleus, which are its icy and rocky core.
Space.com says that Orionids are also referred to as The Legacy of Halley’s Comet, which is the comet where the meteor originated from.
Since the comet has already disintegrated, the next time it is scheduled to be made visible again is on the year 2061. Then too will we be able to view “the mother of all Orionids.”
Meteor Shower 2016: Where and When to Watch?
Though the moon is going to be hampering the viewing experience, there is still a pretty good chance the meteors will be made visible and fortunately, both Southern and Northern hemisphere of the Earth can view the spectacle.
Space.com advises to check it out prior to the rising of the moon. “The best plan this year probably would be to observe on the later nights of the display, after Oct. 22, when the radiant (the section of the sky where the meteors seem to originate) will rise before the moon.”
Express UK adds that it is best to do the observation in the countryside where there is less pollution and lighting.
Also, there won’t be the need to bring a telescope since it is most likely visible to the naked eye.
Be patient with the moon and relax while laying down and you might get a chance to see a spectacle happening only once every year from a vast and far away universe.