Orionids, two asteroids, and the Creation

I’m back from another world in time to tell you that the Orionid meteors come around again tonight:

Orbit of Halley's Comet and its meteor streams

Since they follow roughly the orbit of their parent Comet Halley, they come at us from the front; their radiant rises late in the evening, and they are likely to be most numerous after midnight, perhaps 20 an hour, though the number can be less and sometimes much more.  The waning Moon, which will be at Last Quarter on Oct. 22, rises about midnight.

Sky scene 2016 October 21 with Orionid meteors

And that asteroids 1 Ceres and 18 Melpomene are at their oppositions on Oct. 21 and 23 respectively, about 5 degrees apart in Cetus, at magnitudes 7.4 and 8.0, well below the naked-eye limit.

Finder chart for asteroids 1 Ceres and 18 Melpomene, 2016 October

Finder chart from the “Asteroids” section of Astronomical Calendar 2016.

Also that tomorrow, Saturday, the universe will be 6019 years old.  That is, it was created, according to the once respected chronology of Archbishop Ussher, on Saturday, Oct. 22, 4004 BC, at nightfall.  The “at nightfall” part of this intrigues me, and I intend to do some further study of it.  But first, I will be sending very shortly a report from the other universe I’ve just visited.

 

3 thoughts on “Orionids, two asteroids, and the Creation”

  1. I feel some sympathy for the good Archbishop. Just as he didn’t know how to talk about things that happened before the Creation, i.e. what time of day was it before the Lord created light and darkness and separated them into day and night, so we struggle to comprehend the universe at the moment of the big bang, and to imagine whether there could have been causes antecedent to the emergence of space and time as we know them.

    1. Whether you believe God created the earth in six days, or in the big bang, which allegedly wasn’t so big at first, and no bang to be heard, what came before is still a big mystery, and each remains its own, a matter of faith.

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