The annual Orionid meteor shower is set to peak this week in a display of shooting stars across the night sky. It will peak around 21/22 October, when the shower will be most prolific between midnight and dawn.
October's Orionid meteor shower is one of two created by debris from Halley's Comet, the only known short-period comet that is clearly visible to the naked eye from Earth. The other meteor shower is the Eta Aquarids, which takes place in May. With dark skies and good weather, you may be able to see between 10 and 20 meteors per hour.
What are meteor showers?
Meteors come from leftover comet particles from broken asteroids. When comets pass around the sun, the dust they emit turns into a trail around their orbits. The Earth passes through these debris trails and the particles collide with our atmosphere where they disintegrate and burn up, creating flashes of light across the sky.
For the best chance of seeing a meteor shower, find an area with little light pollution where you can set up camp with a sleeping bag, blanket or chair – as you might be in for the long haul. Nasa advises to lie flat on your back so you have a panoramic view of the night sky. It will take around 30 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the dark, which will help you spot the shower.