Best time to see Orionid meteor shower as dazzling shooting star display peaks tonight

Stargazers across the UK are in for a treat tonight as the famous Orionid meteor shower peaks in the sky.

The Earth is currently passing through the debris left behind by the famous comet Halley, meaning Brits will have been able to spot shooting stars during the evening time.

But the Orionids are due to peak tonight, producing up to 25 meteors every hour, and will remain visible until the early hours of Friday night.

Here is everything you need to know, including what it is, what time the Orionids will peak, where you need to look to in the sky.

What is the Orionid meteor shower?
A meteor shower happens when a number of meteors seem to radiate, or originate, from a particular point in the sky.

Meteors are actually bits of comet debris, which appear as shooting stars as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere at high speeds.

A meteor shower occurs when many of these meteors can be seen at once.

The Orionid meteor shower gets its name from the Orion constellation, which is where it appears to originate from.

What makes this particular meteor shower so special is because the debris stems from Halley’s Comet, the most well known comet in the Solar system.

Also known as 1P/Halley, it can be seen from Earth about every 75 years, which means it’s possible for someone to see it twice in a lifetime.

What time is the Orionid meteor shower?
The Orionid meteor shower will peak between October 21 and 22, but Brits are able to see it for several days either side of this.

The best time to see it will be from midnight to dawn – as there will be up 25 meteors per hour.

“This year the Orionids will peak on the night of October 21 between midnight and dawn, with a maximum of 25 shooting stars per hour.

“The shower will be emanating from the constellation of Orion, which will rise from the south-eastern horizon shortly before midnight.”

Where to see the Orionid meteor shower
For your best chance to see the Orionid meteor shower, you should find a “safe location away from street lights and other sources of light pollution,” according to Royal Museums Greenwich.

Just give your eyes enough time to adjust to the dark so you can spot the shooting stars.

Although you can see the meteors anywhere in the sky, you will see that they seem to originate from the constellation Orion.

If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, you will be able to spot it in the southwestern sky, but if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere you’ll find it in the northwestern sky.

Orion is one of the most recognisable constellations in the sky, with its seven bright stars forming an hourglass-shaped pattern in the sky.