Supermoons and northern lights. The Earth’s sky is a gift that keeps on giving and this week will be extra special. Whether you’re a junior astronomer or a casual viewer, look up for the 2023 Orionids Meteor Shower.

Active between until November 22nd, this particular meteor shower has been described as “one of the most beautiful showers of the year” with around 15 to 20 ‘shooting stars’ lighting the night every hour during its peak.

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“The pieces of space debris that interact with our atmosphere to create the Orionids originate from comet 1P/Halley,” explained NASA,

“Each time that Halley returns to the inner solar system its nucleus sheds ice and rocky dust into space. The dust grains eventually become the Orionids in October and the Eta Aquarids in May if they collide with Earth’s atmosphere.”

This year, those interested will be encouraged to sneak a peek on the evening of October 21st  when the event comes to a head – though there are a few things to note.

First – it’s going to be tough to view if you’re in the city, so consider a little road trip away from the light pollution.

According to the Canadian Space Agency, finding a clear spot away from trees and tall buildings is recommended and staring at a screen should be avoided. Take a break from your phone and let your eyes adjust to the sky – you won’t want to miss a beat!

Unfortunately, some light will be unavoidable, This year, during the Orionids peak, the moon will be in its Waxing Crescent phase, but it’ll still be worth trying to check it out.

“Orionid meteors are known for their brightness and for their speed,” continues NASA.

“These meteors are fast – they travel at about 148,000 mph (66 km/s) into Earth’s atmosphere. Fast meteors can leave glowing “trains” (incandescent bits of debris in the wake of the meteor) which last for several seconds to minutes. Fast meteors can also sometimes become fireballs: Look for prolonged explosions of light when viewing the Orionid meteor shower.”

Can’t wait until the 21st? If you’re eager to see even more in the sky this October, you can also head out on the evening of the 8th for the Draconid meteor shower. Though it hasn’t been wildly active in more recent years, it could still produce a few streaks of light worth seeing and it could be a great opportunity to scope out viewpoints.

But there you have it, Canada! Mark it down and get excited. You never know what you’ll see – it could be something incredible!

Orionids Meteor Shower

When: Until November 22nd (peaks Friday, October 20th-21st, 2023)