SKYWATCH: comet’s dusty debris set to shower night sky

SKYWATCH: comet's dusty debris set to shower night sky

A LOT of fuss was made on the TV news and online a couple of weeks ago about a meteor shower called the Draconids, writes STUART ATKINSON.

Wild predictions were made for dozens, hundreds or even thousands of shooting stars lighting up the sky when it peaked. Unfortunately, this was all nonsense. The Draconids is usually a very poor shower. That’s why I didn’t mention it in this column.

But there is a good meteor shower coming up very soon which will be worth looking out for. The Orionid meteor shower peaks every mid-October, and is caused by dusty debris from Halley’s Comet burning up in the atmosphere.

This year the Orionids peaks on the evening of October 20/21 but there will be more meteors than usual a couple of nights ether side of that date too. To watch it, go out after midnight, find somewhere dark, out in the open, away from light pollution, look up – and wait. Eventually you’ll see a shooting star zipping away from the constellation of Orion. If you’re lucky you’ll see a shooting star every five minutes or so, maybe even more frequently.

Should you make a wish when you see one? Well, there’s no scientific evidence it works, but you never know.


Mary Greeley News