what will we be able to see during the night from Thursday to Friday?

what will we be able to see during the night from Thursday to Friday?
what will we be able to see during the night from Thursday to Friday?

It is one of the last meteor showers of the year. The Orionids swarm will experience its peak of activity in the coming days. During the night from Thursday to Friday, it will be possible to observe dozens of meteors if conditions allow. Explanations with Jérémie Vaubaillon, astronomer at IMCCE within the Paris observatory, joined by RTL.

From the constellation Orion, this swarm known for the brilliance and speed of its shooting stars comes from Comet Halley, which can be seen on the Earth’s horizon every 76 years on average.

The phenomenon started at the beginning of October and will end at the beginning of November. “This is the usual annual rainfall. Our estimates are based on about twenty meteors per hour visible to the naked eye if you benefit from a sky without light pollution. In Paris, you’ll be lucky if you see two, ”explains Jérémie Vaubaillon.

The full moon of the day before could alter the spectacle

To see the meteor trail, you will need stay up late at night from October 21 to 22. They will mostly be visible after midnight. It will be necessary look east at the beginning of the night then towards the south at the end of the evening. However, conditions do not promise to be optimal because the moon will be full on October 20 and its disc will be almost complete in the night sky. If you are attempting the experiment, it is not necessary to use any equipment. But be sure to choose a location free from light pollution and let your eyes get used to the darkness for about 30 minutes.

If it does not promise to be particularly spectacular this year, the passage of the Orionids presents a definite interest for the scientific community. “The Rosetta space mission was able to approach comet 67P / Tchouryumov-Gerasimenko to see how it degassed. But we never landed on comet Halley. With the Orionids, it sends us cometary grains that are part of the most primitive objects in the Solar System. And we see them disintegrate 100 km above us. It’s an incredible chance because it costs millions to send a probe on a comet “, explains the astronomer.

After the Orionids, the next astronomical event of its kind will be the great rain of the Geminids, mid-December. A phenomenon very similar to the Perseids in August of a much more remarkable intensity. “Last year, our cameras captured more than 200 meteors per hour,” recalls Jérémie Vaubaillon. Appointment is made around December 13-14.

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