How to see the Orionid Meteor Shower

Look up and you could be in for a 'celestial fireworks display' as a host of shooting stars whizz over Earth


Britain's night skies will be lit up by the Orionid Meteor Shower this week as the Earth passes through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet.

Experts predict up to 25 shooting stars will be on display every hour, providing a potentially thrilling spectacle for stargazers.

"The spectacular celestial fireworks displays are created when pieces of the comet disintegrate in Earth's upper atmosphere, nearly 60 miles up," says the Daily Telegraph.

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When is the best time to see it?

The Orionids have been visible since 2 October and should last until 7 November, with today being the optimum time to see them.

If skies are dark and clear, you could see up to 25 shooting stars an hour, each travelling at around 41 miles per second. However, this year the light of the moon may weaken visibility.

The Orionid shower is one of the most reliable annual displays of "shooting stars", says, but the glare of the waning gibbous moon is a "formidable handicap".

A spokesman for the Met Office said: "Orionid meteors are known to be very fast... and typically on the faint side, although with clear, dark skies you still have a good chance of spotting one with its persistent, long trail."

Where is the best place to see it from?

Find a comfortable spot away from bright lights and give your eyes at least 45 minutes to get used to the dark. Comfort and warmth are important because you may need to wait for some time.

To increase your chances of seeing the Orionid shower clearly, have your back to the moon or make sure it's obscured behind a building or tree.

You should be able to spot the shower with the naked eye, but keep your fingers crossed for clear skies and be patient - the Telegraph says anyone hoping for a glimpse will need to be "prepared to wait... And wait... And wait."

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