Orionid Meteors

November 01, 2009


Photographer: John Chumack; John’s Web Page
Summary Author: John Chumack; Jim Foster

The image above shows a “shooting star” piercing the night sky above Dayton, Ohio. I was able to capture on film 64 meteors, during the annual Orionid Meteor Shower, on the night of October 21, 2009, despite the partly cloudy skies here in Dayton. The meteor rate really picked up around 5:00 a.m (09:00 UTC). Note that the film loop is a 6.5 hour time-lapse movie, starting just after midnight and running until about 6:45 a.m (10:45 UTC). This was another good year to view the Orionids since the Moon wasn’t in play – a young crescent Moon setting just as darkness fell. My favorite thing about the Orionids is just how swiftly they fall. They dart across the sky, appearing to radiate from the constellation of Orion, moving at approximately 140,000 mph.

Photo details: The movie was put together from the sky cameras mounted on my backyard observatory.