METEORS FROM HALLEY'S COMET: NASA's network of all-sky meteor cameras is picking up a slow drizzle of meteors emerging from the constellation Orion.

They are bits of debris from Halley's Comet, source of the annual Orionids meteor shower. Forecasters expect the shower to intensify and peak on Oct. 20-21 with as many as 20 meteors per hour. The best time to look is during the dark hours before sunrise next Wednesday morning.

Halley’s Comet, perhaps the most famous of all comets, is parent of both the Eta Aquarid meteor shower in May and October’s Orionids meteor shower. Image via NASA.

Orionids meteors are known to be fast and usually on the faint side. But the Orionids can sometimes surprise you with an exceptionally bright meteor – one that would be visible, even in a light-polluted city – that might break up into fragments.

How many Orionid meteors will I see? The word shower might give you the idea of a rain shower. But few meteor showers resemble showers of rain.
Meteor showers are more subtle than rain showers, and the Orionid shower isn’t as rich a meteor shower as, for example, the Perseids in August or the Geminids in December. But the dark skies after moonset make this year’s Orionid meteor shower worth watching!

Orionid meteors are known to be fast and usually on the faint side. But the Orionids can sometimes surprise you with an exceptionally bright meteor –
one that would be visible, even in a light-polluted city – that might break up into fragments.

Consider observing for an hour or more, and in that case the trick is to find a place to observe in the country. Bring along a blanket or lawn chair and lie back comfortably while gazing upward. -Steve

Forward Scatter Meteor Radar
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METEOR ECHOES : The US Air Force Space Surveillance Radar has been shut down, but scientists are still able to record meteor echos.
How do we do it? Radio engineer Stan Nelson uses a Yagi antenna in New Mexico to detect 54 MHz TV signals reflected from meteor trails. When a meteor passes over his observatory--ping!--there is an echo. It's the next best thing to a giant government radar!

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