2008 Orionid Shower

2008 OrionidsThe annual Orionid meteor shower occurs when debris from Comet Halley intercepts the Earth at a high velocity. This debris stream is somewhat diffuse, so we see activity for several days on either side of the peak.

This is a composite image of 303 meteors collected on the evenings of October 17/18 (29 events), October 18/19 (48 events), October 19/20 (44 events), October 20/21 (107 events), and October 22/23 (75 events). A heavy snowstorm prevented recording any data on October 22/22. Because the images were collected over many hours, the radiant of the shower is spread out and not apparent. There was quite a bit of interference from the Moon this year, as well as thin clouds each night. The image has had the Moon removed from it, except for a single frame containing a beautifully haloed Moon. Mouse over the image to see the effect of the Moon, and also the long necklace-like streaks from stars or planets captured as they traveled across the sky over many hours. These form arcs centered on Polaris, which is located fairly low in the sky above the zero degree azimuth marker.

 

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