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Orionid meteor shower to reach peak tomorrow

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2011 - 19:40

Chennai: The orionid meteor shower of debris, left behind by Halley`s Comet, will reach its peak on October 21 and 22 and be visible in the late hours on these two days across the country.

"The Orionid meteors are debris left behind by Halley`s Comet. The peak of the shower this year will be on October 21 and 22. These showers can be best viewed in the late hours these days across the country," P Iyamperumal, Executive Director, Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre said.

Halley`s comet is the best-known of the short-periodcomets, and is visible from Earth every 75 to 76 years. A comet is an icy small Solar System body that, when close
enough to the Sun, displays a visible coma (a thin, fuzzy, temporary atmosphere) and sometimes also a tail.

These meteors will travel at a speed of one lakh km per second, he added.

A meteor shower is a celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate from one point in the night sky. "You can see these showers best from open grounds and in beaches. The shower during the peak is expected to be around
25 meteors per hour," D Vijaykumar, a Chennai-based space enthusiast said.

The maximum showers are expected between 11 pm and 4 am, he said.
Halley`s Comet comes closer to Earth once in 76 years and the last time it did so was in 1986.


First Published: Thursday, October 20, 2011 - 19:40
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