Halley’s Comet: Invisible but Causing Annual Meteor Shower

Comet Halley is one of the outer space objects that illuminates the night sky. Indeed, this comet is certainly not unusual. This space object will be visible from Earth every 75 to 76 years. At that time, Halley’s Comet will light up the sky by reaching its perihelion.

The comet’s size and the intrigue that surrounds it is striking. It made the appearance of humans eagerly awaited throughout history. Every 75 to 76 years, Comet 1P/Halley or as many people call it Halley’s Comet, sweeps across the inner solar system.

Heat from the sun causes the comet to lose its icy grip on a mountain-sized lump of dust, ice and gas. As a result, fragile comets will release their new debris gas into orbital streams with each pass. During its last flight in 1986, the comet has already lost about 1/1,000 of its mass.

Coincidentally, we cross the orbit of Comet Halley twice a year. That is why, despite the fact that this comet is invisible, it is a fact that Halley’s Comet is the source of two annual meteor showers.

The meteor shower is quite famous. They usually occur in May and in October. The annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower occurred in early May showing a fragment of this comet. Then, six months later in October, Earth’s orbit will return to Halley’s Comet.

That’s when the comet fragments will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere as the annual Orionid meteor shower. Comet particles will pollute the orbit of Comet Halley because it has been around the sun for thousands of years.

That is why comets don’t have to be close to Earth or the sun to produce meteor showers. On the other hand, each time the Earth orbits Halley’s Comet, the comet fragments are as small as grains of sand and gravel and often collide with the atmosphere. Then, the gravel and sand will evaporate as streaks of light across the sky. That is what came to be known as a meteor.

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