orionids
A fish-eye view of a green and red Orionid meteor striking the sky below Milky Way and to the right of Venus Wiki Commons

The Orionid meteor shower will peak on 21 and 22 October, with shooting stars visible in both the northern and southern hemispheres. This year's shower is expected to be less spectacular than normal, with around 15-20 meteors per hour. On good years, stargazers can see up to 80 per hour.

The Orionids is one of two meteor showers from Halley's Comet. It happens when Earth passes through the debris from the tail of the comet – the only comet clearly visible to the naked eye from Earth.

Meteors seen during the shower are tiny bits of ice and dust that came off the comet and collide with our atmosphere. When they hit, they disintegrate and burn up, creating the flash of light seen in the sky.

The best time to look out for comets from the Orionid meteor shower is after midnight, when the planet turns into the debris field. Meteors should be visible up until the early hours of the morning – its peak. Ideally, people should get away from cities to view – light pollution makes it harder to see meteors.

While Nasa notes the peak days are 21 and 22 October, activity can be seen up until 4 November.

Find out where to watch the meteor shower in the UK and US below.