Orionidas 2018: where and when to see the rain of stars | Science

Orionidas 2018: where and when to see the rain of stars | Science



Throughout a year there are several dates that lovers of astronomy expect with special enthusiasm. Eclipses, rains of stars or the transit of Mercury are some of the appointments with the firmament that await us in 2019. But before returning to see the Perseids in the summer sky or the total eclipse of the sun that will happen on July 2, this same night another phenomenon will monopolize our eyes: the Orionids.

This shower of stars from the comet Halley takes place annually in the months of October and November and in Spain this year will reach its peak of glory on Sunday October 21 and at dawn on Monday 22. Next we tell you some curiosities about the Orionids and accompany them with some good advice to not miss the show.

Main differences between Orionids and Perseids

Popularly known as Tears of San Lorenzo, the Perseids They are the most famous meteor showers. The Orionids do not have much to envy in terms of beauty, although it is true that the former are considered intense activity while the latter register a more moderate. This degree is measured by a mathematical formula that ends up being an index known as THZ and that gives us the total number of meteors per hour that could be seen in optimal conditions. So, if the perseids have a THZ of 100 meteors an hour, the Orionids stay at a THZ of 20-25. This year, and with the cold drop Still installed in Spain, the rain may lower the odds a little more.

What to expect when you're expecting?

The Orionids are detached from the comet Halley – which we certainly do not see since 1986 and will not see again until 2061 – and, in reality, are waste of this. You will recognize them by their color between green and yellow and by the trail of incandescent particles that they usually leave behind for a very short time and that are really the real show.

(Almost) impossible not to see them

While to contemplate some astronomical phenomena it is necessary to prepare thoroughly, the shower of stars of Orionids can be seen from any part of the world and can be seen without the need of instruments, with the naked eye and raising the head a little.

To find out where the meteors you just have to locate the constellation of Orion that gives it its name and that is easy to identify thanks to the three aligned stars that it has in its center, the three Marías or Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka.

The best time to see the Orionids 2018

If the rain allows it, this midnight reserve a comfortable place, to be able to be dark and to which light pollution does not come, from which you can see the open sky and enjoy the penultimate shower of stars this year. After the Orionids, between 4 and 17 December, the Geminids will arrive. The last opportunity

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