How to watch meteor shower with 20 shooting stars per hour

The Orionid meteor shower is set to peak tonight. Photo: Getty Images

The Orionid meteor shower is set to peak tonight. Photo: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Orionid meteor shower is due to reach its peak tonight (Monday, October 21). Here's what you need to know about watching the spectacle.

Like all meteor showers, the Orionids is caused by particles of comet debris entering our atmosphere.

As they burn up the particles appear as shooting stars, creating bright streaks in the sky.

These shooting stars, which are set to number around 20 per hour at the peak this year, will be visible to the naked eye and best seen in areas with low light pollution.

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The most dramatic sights will visible at around 11.30pm and because clear skies are predicted for most of the UK this evening, views are set to be good.

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You don't need any specialist equipment, the best way to catch the meteor shower is to wrap up warm and sit in a comfy chair outside.

Anna Ross, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said:

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"Meteors will be visible all over the sky but they will appear to originate from close to the star Betelgeuse in the constellation of Orion, which will be in the east of the sky during that peak time."

"For the best chances to spot the Orionids, find a dark area of clear sky and allow around 20 minutes to let your eyes adapt to the dark.

"It may also be advisable to lie down as you will be looking up for a long time.'

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