An Exciting Celestial Event Will Be Seen Over the Skies of the Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley could witness an event in the night sky this week that is directly tied to one of the most famous comets. The question, as often, will be if the weather holds out. Another factor this year will be the Moon. Too much light from a bigger Moon can obscure the viewing.
Earth Sky says that the Orionid meteor shower will peak this week, as the Earth travels through the left-over remnants of Halley's Comet. The best chance to see it will be Friday, as the shower is expected to peak and the Moon will be in a slim crescent phase.
The event gets its name from a point near the upraised Club of the constellation Orion the Hunter, according to Earth Sky.
You'll have to pay attention, as the meteors move very fast, though they also leave a long-lasting tail once they've completely burnt up in the Earth's atmosphere. The best place to be is in a wide open area, away from city lights to see the meteors. Earth Sky says that the Orionids usually display a maximum of about 10 to 20 meteors per hour.
The Orionids have quite a famous "parent", as they are the remains of Halley's Comet, which last passed near Earth in 1986. Meteors, or shooting stars, are a bright streak of light from a heated and glowing object falling through the Earth's atmosphere. The brightness depends on the size of the projectile, the speed at which it's hitting the atmosphere, or the makeup or composition of the object
The Weather Channel says that skies will remain cloudy through Monday, though the extended forecast is calling for partly cloudy skies by Thursday night and Friday.
Did a Small Asteroid Strike Poughkeepsie?
You may remember reports of the bright fireball that was seen all over the eastern part of the country in November 2020. Some outlets, such as the Gothamist, claim the space rock actually crashed somewhere in the area. Hundreds of reports poured in from witnesses all over the east coast at around 7:22 P.M. that evening.
The American Meteor Society says the fireball's visible light trail ended somewhere over Poughkeepsie, according to the reports they received.
Bright Lights and Fireballs
As of now, there is no actual evidence of asteroids striking here. That doesn't mean it hasn't happened, but there is no "smoking gun" to speak of. Chances are, the fireball simply disintegrated in mid-air. It actually happens a lot more than you may think. Wikipedia says an estimated 15,000 tons of space debris enter the planet's atmosphere every day.
A huge majority never make it to the ground. Many fizzle out or explode in the upper atmosphere without anyone ever hearing about it. Scientists do say a meteor may have exploded high above New York state in late 2019, causing an eerie greenish light to be seen in the sky that night, according to the many reports in the Saratoga area.