From October 21st to 22nd, 2023, get ready for a celestial spectacle as the Orionid meteor shower graces the night sky tonight, the brightest meteor shower of the year.
The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) recommends watching this starry show starting at 10:30 PM on Saturday night through early Sunday morning. The meteors will be at their brightest after 11:30 PM once the moon sets, providing optimal viewing conditions.
This annual phenomenon can be observed throughout Thailand from late September to early November, it is advisable to find dark, light-pollution-free areas for the best experience.
The Orionids result from debris left behind by Halley’s Comet, which orbits through the inner solar system every 76 years. When the comet approaches the Sun, it releases dust and gas particles. These particles disperse into a stream that the Earth encounters every October. Upon entering our atmosphere, the dust particles burn up, producing the bright streaks of light we see as meteors.
Named after the Orion constellation, these meteors appear to originate near the constellation’s bright star, Betelgeuse. NARIT suggests that skywatchers could capture stunning photographs of the meteor shower alongside brilliant stars like Sirius and Betelgeuse.
However, if you wish to see Halley’s Comet itself, you’ll have to wait until 2061 when it makes its next close approach to the Sun. Enjoy the celestial show this weekend and make the most of this spectacular event.