Earth Passing Through Debris From Halley’s Comet

Halley’s Comet last visited us back in 1986 and is not due for another visit for another 52 years. But when it was last here, as it does with every visit, it left it’s calling card to remind us of it’s visit.

Halley's Comet

Halley's Comet

Every year at this time Earth goes through the debris left over from Halley’s comet . So what exactly are we about to hit…… rock boulders or perhaps something the size of a brick?

Well actually neither. The particles of debris are actually no bigger than a grain of sand which are stretched out along the orbit of the comet.  When the Earth passes through the trail left by Halley, These grains of sand strike the earth’s atmosphere at a speed of about 14,000 kilometres an hour and become brilliant shooting stars.

At the speed they are travelling , when you see them shoot across the sky they will only last seconds….. so keep an eye out for them.

This event is called the Orionids Meteor Shower and it will peak tomorrow around 11am Sydney time. So keep an eye out for them when you are observing tonight and tomorrow night as you might be lucky enough to see some of them.

Some reports have already come in that some people saw up to 29 or these meteorites this morning and going as far back as Saturday night between 3am and 5am. So perhaps this is the best time to watch for them.

It is likely that if you look in the area between Orion and Gemini you may see the meteorites as this seems to be where they are originating from in the last few days.

If this is the case, at 3am you will find both Orion and Gemini directly North East of Sydney and you need to look up about 18 to 45 degrees above the horizon. But keep in mind that meteorites can appear in any part of the sky.

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~ by sydneystargazers on October 20, 2009.

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