Fireball Over California Heralds Orionid Shower

The October 17 fireball that streaked over northern California (Credits: Rachel Fritz & Rick Nolthenius/Cabrillo College).

On October 17, a fireball streaked across northern California, emitting a sonic boom that had residents calling reports into the police and local news stations. The fireball is being attributed to an early Orionid meteor. The main contingent of the Orionid shower, which results from remnants of Halley’s Comet, is due to arrive October 20-21, during which time skywatchers can expect to see up to 25 meteors an hour. The Orionids, so called because they appear to emanate from the constellation Orion, are among the fastest meteors but sport persistent tails, making them ideal for observing.

Here, a view of Wednesday’s preview:



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Merryl Azriel

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Having wandered into professional writing and editing after a decade in engineering, science, and management, Merryl now enjoys reintegrating the dichotomy by bringing space technology and policy within reach of an interested public. After three years as Space Safety Magazine’s Managing Editor, Merryl semi-retired to Visiting Contributor and manager of the campaign to bring the International Space Station collaboration to the attention of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. She keeps her pencil sharp as Proposal Manager for U.S. government contractor CSRA.

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