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The Orionids: Oct. 21-26, 2008
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  Summary: For the third year in a row, a stream of dust from Halley's Comet has produced an unusually strong and bright Orionid meteor shower. Worldwide observers counted twice the usual number of Orionids in spite of glare from a waning gibbous moon. [meteor counts] [sky map] See also the 2006 Orionid Gallery.
  Photographer, Location Images Comments

Bill Cooke,
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Oct. 21, 2008

An all-sky fireball monitoring system at the Marshall Space Flight Center recorded a flurry of bright Orionids during the hours before dawn on Oct. 21, 2008. In the movie, the "floodlight" arcing slowly across the sky is the Moon. "Lunar glare should have spoiled the show, but the shower was so bright, we saw it despite the Moon's interference," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.

Rich Swanson,
Windy Mountain Observatory, Sierra Vista, Arizona
Oct. 21, 2008

I set my camera up piggybacked on my LX200R to take 2 minute shots for several hours. When I was searching thru the photos, I noticed that I was able to catch several dim meteors. Then the second to the last shot before sunrise made my jaw drop!

Photo details: Canon 20dh, 400 ASA 2 min exposure.

[listen: radar echo]

Thomas Ashcraft,
New Mexico
Oct. 21, 2008
#1, more

Amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft operates an all-sky camera in New Mexico to record fireballs and other meteor activity. When a fireball passes over his observatory, radio signals from distant TV transmitters bounce off the fireball's ionized tail, creating a radio echo that Ashcraft records using his own antennas and receivers. His composite "sonic Orionid" videos are a must-see.

Przemyslaw Zoladek,
Warsaw, Poland
Oct. 21, 2008

-6 magnitude Orionid fireball appeared over eastern Poland this night at 01:06 UT.

Photo details: Canon 300D, 800 ISO, 3.5/18mm lens and rotating shutter. Exposure 30s

more images: from Alex Conu of Bucharest, Romania; from Catalin M. Timosca of Turda, Romania; from Thomas Dorman of Horizon City, Texas