The Orionids shower awakens every year around the start of October and lasts until November.

During this period, individual meteors created by Comet 1P/Halley, burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere at incredible speeds.

But the real spectacle is yet to come later tonight when the meteor shower reaches its so-called peak.

During this year’s peak on the nights of October 21 and October 22, astronomers expect up to 25 shooting stars to light up the night every hour.

How to see the Orionid meteor shower tonight

The Orionids are one of the most notorious showers even though there are more active ones throughout the year.

Orionids are known particularly for their fast and long glowing trails.

Tonight, the shower will be most intense between midnight and early dawn on Monday morning.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich said: “Hunting for meteors, like the rest of astronomy, is a waiting game, so it’s best to bring a comfy chair to sit on and to wrap up warm as you could be outside for a while.

“They can be seen with the naked eye so there’s no need for binoculars or a telescope, though you will need to allow your eyes to adjust to the dark.

“The showers will continue at a reduced rate, so if the Moon obscures the peak, you may still be able to catch a few throughout the rest of October.”

The Orionids will appear to break out from a radiant point near the constellation Orion – their namesake.

But there will be no need to find the constellation because the shooting stars will zip by too fast for you keep track.

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Instead, the best thing you can do is lie back in a cosy position and try to take in the entire night sky at once.

The Observatory suggests you find a quiet, dark spot devoid of any sources of light.

Try to avoid urban areas, roads and street lamps which could under your viewing experience.

Just remember your eyes might take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes to completely adjust to the dark.

What are the Orionids meteors?

As the 1P/Halley, or Halley’s Comet as it is more commonly known, orbits the Sun it sheds bits and pieces of its outer layers.

This cosmic debris gets left behind in the comet’s orbital highway which the Earth then pass through every May and October.

In May, the debris gives birth to the Eta Aquarids meteor shower and the Orionids in October.

The Observatory said: “The famous comet swings by the earth only once every 75 – 76 years but this annual shower provides some compensation for those who may miss that once in a lifetime event.”



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