Halley's Comet is source of this week's Orionids meteor shower

Milky Way and Meteor from Roa Island GRAHAM KIDD

However, every year between October and November Earth's orbit around the sun crosses paths, with debris from the comet creating the Orionids.

As Earth passes through Halley's orbit, pieces of rock plunge into our upper atmosphere and burn up, causing handsome shooting star displays. The Orionid Meteor Shower isn't the most active, but at the peak you could see up to 10-20 meteors per hour.

"The Orionids are known to be fast and on the faint side, but can sometimes surprise you with an exceptionally bright meteor that might break up into fragments", Byrd wrote in her blog.

The Orionids are meteors that originate from the dust left behind by Halley's Comet.

Between this time the showers will be at their brightest and most visible.

Halley didn't live to see the comet's return, but his discovery led to the comet being named after him.

Mr Kerss said: "We expect the peak to occur on the night of 21/22 October when the young crescent Moon will set conveniently before the radiant of the shower - the point from which the meteors appear to spread out - rises in the east".

Over the weekend, the meteoroids from Halley's Comet will strike Earth's atmosphere at a speed of 148,000mph, (238,000kph) burning up in streaking flashes of light that can be seen with the naked eye.

How can I best view the show? It won't come again until 2061.

Depending on where you are, there could be clouds in the night sky! "Within 30 minutes, the both of you will likely have seen one or two and will have a new shared memory!"

A STUNNING celestial event is happening in the next few days which will see the skies lit up with a shower of meteors.

Tom Kerss, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said: "The Orionids is a modest shower, producing around 20 meteors per hour at best under absolutely ideal conditions".

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