Orionids Meteor Shower 2023

celestial events Oct 21, 2023

The Orionids meteor shower is an annual celestial event that graces our skies in late October. As Earth makes its journey around the sun, it travels through the debris trail left behind by the legendary Halley's Comet. As the comet swings by the Sun, it leaves a trail of dust and debris in its wake. When our planet intersects this celestial debris during its orbit, the particles burn up in the atmosphere, creating streaks of light that paint the night sky in a celestial dance.

The Earth encounters the debris from Halley's Comet twice a year, giving rise to two meteor showers. The first, the Eta Aquariids, graces the skies in early May, while the second, the Orionids, lights up the heavens in late October, marking its peak between October 20th and 22nd.

Meteor showers result from tiny fragments of comets or asteroids that burn up in Earth's atmosphere due to intense friction. The Orionids, active from early October to early November, emanate from the radiant point near the constellation Orion, specifically near the bright star Betelgeuse.

For stargazers in both hemispheres, the Orionids offer a celestial show visible in the hours before dawn. With the shower peaking between October 20th and 22nd in 2023, timing is crucial for the best experience. In areas with less light pollution, the radiant point in Orion provides a spectacular backdrop.

Additional resources to explore:

Eyes on NASA