For several nights centered on October 21, 2014, skywatchers around the globe will have an opportunity to watch fragments of Halley’s Comet burn up as “shooting stars” during the Orionid meteor shower. To see pieces of a celestial icon rip into our atmosphere and then (in the snap of a finger) go down in blazes of glory is wonder enough. For some Orionids, though, that “death streak” may not be the only eye-catching phenomenon related to the event. It could be the precursor to a fascinating spectacle in the upper atmosphere that, unlike the meteor, can last minutes.
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