Penticton News

Nighttime skies clearing in Okanagan, Kamloops in time for Orionid meteor shower

Halleys Comet is responsible for creating the Orionid meteor shower, which should be visible in Kamloops and the Okanagan tonight.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / NASA

Sky gazers in Kamloops and the Okanagan should have an opportunity to catch the annual Orionid meteor shower tonight.

The annual meteor shower peaked last night, Oct. 21, but will still be visible tonight, according to Weather Network meteorologist Scott Sutherland.

The meteor shower is made up of debris from Halley’s Comet as it makes its 75-year journey around the Sun. Twice annually, in May and October, the Earth makes its way through the comet’s debris stream.

Numerous bright streaks of light are visible across the night sky due to tiny particles from the comet’s debris field being swept up by the planet’s atmosphere.

The meteor shower is an annual event occurring between Oct. 2 to Nov. 7, starting slowly and ramping up to a peak on Oct. 21.

After midnight, an observer who is away from any light pollution and under clear dark skies could expect to see 15 to 20 meteors per hour.

Coincidentally, Environment Canada says skies should clear this evening throughout the Okanagan and in Kamloops, making tonight an ideal time to take a late-night look into the sky.

Location of the Orionid meteor shower in tonight's night sky, Oct. 22, 2019.
Location of the Orionid meteor shower in tonight's night sky, Oct. 22, 2019.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Stellarium / Scott Sutherland

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