An Orionid makes a green dash above my house this morning. Bob King
Did you get to see the Orionid meteor shower this weekend? I managed an hour and a half under a moonless sky this morning between 5 and 6:30 a.m. Although twilight began around 6, I stuck around as the sky brightened. Good thing I did. A nib of Halley’s Comet zipped across Taurus, flared brightly and left a white streak in its wake. Wow!
Relaxing in a lawn chair I spotted a total of 9 Orionids and 4 random meteors called sporadics. The shower members were swift and white with several leaving glowing “trains” or streaks of light formed when atoms ionized by the meteoroid’s passage through the atmosphere get their electrons back and release light in the process. While waiting for the meteors, I took out binoculars to scan around the winter sky. That’s the what’s on display when you’re out at that hour — Gemini the Twins overhead, Orion sliding westward, Sirius flashing in the south and Leo the Lion pawing his way up the east.
Two satellites (lines at top) moving in different directions are captured in this 30-second time exposure crossing the constellation ...