All the meteor showers left to spot this year

Astronomer with a telescope watching at the stars and Moon with blurred city lights in the backgroun

There are only three meteor showers left on the 2021 calendar. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Meteor showers are a sight which star gazers look out for throughout the year but as we move into autumn only three are left on the calendar. 

A meteor shower is caused by streams of cosmic debris called meteoroids entering Earth's atmosphere at extremely high speeds – which appear as shooting stars. 

The next chance to catch a glimpse of this celestial event will be on October 21, called the Orionid meteor shower - associated with comet Halley. 

Following this will be the Leonid meteor shower on November 17 to 18 associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle.

Finishing off the year, the Geminid meteor shower will be visible on December 14.

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Norfolk-based astronomy broadcaster and author Mark Thompson, co-presenter of BBC Stargazing Live, said: “We get meteor showers because of comets travelling around the solar system.  

“Every year we pass through the orbit of various different comets and that’s the meteor showers we see. 

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“As they travel around, they drop debris along their orbit like a trail of breadcrumbs. As the earth travels through the orbit of the comit, bits of the comit hit the Earth.  

“It heats up as it falls and we see it as loads of shooting stars in the sky.” 

He added: “It highlights the fact that the Earth is an object travelling through space and there are other objects out there.  

“One day we may be hit by something a bit bigger than dust. But nothing - that we know of yet - is heading towards us.” 

To view the meteor showers Mr Thompson said you will not need binoculars or a telescope.  

He added: “The best way to observe them is outside after midnight, in the early morning hours – that's when you will get a better view.  

“Just get outside on a comfy chair, wrap up warm and keep your eyes peeled and hopefully you will see them.” 

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