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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Orionid Meteor Shower Under Way

Meteor crosses star trails in a time-lapse photo

As Earth crosses the path that Halley's comet makes around the sun, we encounter the dust and ice grains left behind. These particles hit the Earth's upper atmosphere and quickly heat up from the friction with air molecules. Since the particles are usually small, these reactions appear as swift flashes of light leaving a trail of hot ionized gas.

The best time to see these meteors is at about 3 am as the Earth positions your viewing point directly into the dust trail. Reports indicate about 25 meteors per hour on the average. You never know when a brighter fireball may appear (a larger bit of dust!) Look in the direction of the constellation of Orion, which gives this shower its name.

The shower will peak on Wednesday night. Previous years have seen an average of 60 meteors per hour. Check for all sorts of good stuff on this shower, including pictures, sounds and more!

---------- Bunker Alert -------

Here at the Bunker we expect to be safe from the bombardment released by the Halley mothership. According to the evil plans of the Comet Realm, comets which miss the Earth completely (and there are many) turn into orbital bombers and release their matter, hoping to get us through whatever means necessary. The poor planning of the Realm engineers means that most of the bombardment particles are too small to last even to the ground. However, take proper precautions and avoid annihilation by specks of outer space rocks!

by Mark Daymont
Asst. Director

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