The full blue moon on Halloween is not the only remarkable event in heaven this fall. Three annual meteor showers will send fireballs that shoot into the night sky in late October and November 2020 – with a shower rising this week.
Here’s a look at three upcoming meteor showers and what to expect.
Orionid meteor shower
When: The annual Orionid meteor shower begins on October 2 and continues until November 7, but the best time to review it is during peak hours ̵1; during the night hours Tuesday, October 20, until the wee hours of Wednesday , October. 21.
How active are you: Experts from the American Meteor Society say that the Orionid shower typically generates 10 to 20 meteors per hour, but some years it produces up to 50 to 75 per hour – boosting its reputation as the best autumn meteor shower . The light from the moon, which is slightly less than 25% full on the night of October 20, could keep the number of visible shooting stars lower this year.
Fun facts: Orionids are actually tiny pieces of dust and rock particles left by the comet of the famous Halley. At this time each year, the Earth passes through the field of comet remains, allowing us to see these stars.
Northern Taurid meteor shower
When: The Northern Taurid meteor shower will be seen on October 20 and will continue until December 10, according to AMS. Its peak duration is overnight from November 11 until early morning on November 12, during which the moon will be about 15% full.
How active are you: This meteor shower typically generates only five to 10 shooting stars per hour, with the highest number at the densest location. But astronomers say this shower is remarkable because it tends to produce bright fireballs. So, this one is worth watching for its quality rather than its quantity.
Fun facts: The Taurids derive their name from the constellation Taurus.
Leonid meteor shower
When: The annual Leonid meteor shower will begin to be seen November 6 and will continue until November 30. The maximum time period is the overnight time of November 16 to November 17, when the moon will be only 5% full.
How active are you: This meteor shower typically generates about 15 meteors per hour.
Fun facts: “The shower is called Leonids because its brightness, or the point in the sky where the meteors come from, depends on the constellation Leo,” TimeAndDate.com said.
This is the best meteor shower to look for in December 2020:
- The Geminid meteor shower, set for the night of December 13 until the morning of December 14.
- The Ursid meteor shower, set for the night of December 21 until the morning of December 22.
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Len Melisurgo can be reached at [email protected].