sky watching october 2013This year’s Orionid meteor shower is going to be a beautiful celestial show. However, it is only one of the fascinating celestial phenomena that we are expecting this October.

The annual meeting of the Earth with falling stars that look like if they were coming from the Orion constellation will start on October 21 and run until November 7.

This phenomenon will peak on 20 and 21 October, when and as scientists believe, about twenty meteors will be visible per hour. The Orionid shower is actually the remains of the famous Halley’s Comet, which enter in the atmosphere of Earth at a great speed and get ignited by friction with the air.

Fall is a time of the year that is often very rich with astronomical phenomena: on October 7 Draconid meteor show took place, and this is not the only celestial event that can be observed this week. Today, the 7th planet of our solar system, Uranus, will appear as the biggest and brightest star in 2013.

Besides that, now and for the next two weeks, skywatchers of the northern hemisphere will have a chance to enjoy the so-called Zodiacal light. This phenomenon, otherwise known as “false dawn”, is caused by solar radiation and its reflection in the cosmic dust between the planets. Thus, it will be possible to observe a pyramidal beam that looks like the lights of a distant city just above the dark horizon one hour before sunrise.

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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