A Few Notes on Meteor Showers in October

Two eventful meteor showers will occur in October 2015. The first is the Draconid meteor shower, which are expected to peak on the 9th of October. The Draconid meteors, named after the constellation Draco the Dragon, are produced as Earth passes through the dust debris of comet 21 P / Giacobini-Zinner (www.timeanddate.com).  Lovecraft himself frequently identified the Draconid meteor showers, typically over the winter and early spring months (Collected Essays of H.P. Lovecraft, Volume 3: Science, edited by S.T. Joshi) but I could find no reference to him citing these meteor showers in October.

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Draconid meteor shower as observed in Sweden 2011 (www.usatoday.com)

The second meteor showers are the Orionids, which are expected to peak sometime around the 20th or 21st of October. The Orionid meteor shower is one of two showers that are the result of debris from Halley’s Comet, with the second being the Eta Aquarids that are frequently observed in May (www.timeanddate.com). Not surprising the Orionid meteors are named after Orion; they appear to originate from that constellation. Lovecraft did identify the Orionid meteor showers in September and October of 1907 but noted that the showers were best observed in October (Collected Essays of H.P. Lovecraft, Volume 3: Science, edited by S.T. Joshi). Did any of these meteor showers contribute toward Lovecraft’s idea for the tale “The Colour Out of Space?”  In any event, keep looking up in October and  you may see some of these meteor showers!

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The debris from Halley’s Comet produces the Orionid meteor showers (NASA)

 

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