Nation can witness meteor shower on October 21

Kathmandu, October 16:

On the night of Vijaya Dashami, October 21, Nepalis across the nation will see a celestial firework with hundreds of shooting stars in the north-east sky as there will be Orionid meteor shower for several hours for the first time in 11 years.

Experts predict that the Orionids could be better than average this year, with perhaps a score of 20 yellow and green meteors per hour, which are fast moving at 41.6 miles per second. The shower could be observed from the midnight till four in the morning across Nepal.

The Orionids, generally, occurs during October every year, but the last time it occurred was in 1996 during Dashain.

“This particular shower occurs as a result of earth passing through dust released by Halley’s Comet,” Rishi K B Shah, an academician at the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, told this daily.

Shah said during a meteor shower, it looks as if all the meteors shoot outward from one place in the sky. That point in the sky is called the “radiant” of the meteor shower. Each shower has a different radiant. The radiant for the Orionid shower is in the constellation Orion. That is why this shower is called the “Orionids”.

“Even though bright moon will disrupt the show after midnight, the Orionids customarily save

their best for the pre-dawn hours before sunrise,” said Shah, adding: “The best time to observe the meteor shower would be about 2 am in the morning if the weather is not inclement.”

The meteor shower can be seen from around the country clearly with the naked eyes.