Tonight Is the Best Night of the Year to See Shooting Stars

The meteor which passed over Cumbria

The shower is called the Orionids because of where it appears in our sky. The shower will be visible both Friday and Saturday night. We will get to witness 20 to 80 meteors per hour, according to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke.

The Orionid meteor shower will light up the night sky tonight, October 20, and tomorrow night as Earth travels through an area of space littered with debris from Halley's Comet, according to NASA.

So what exactly is it? Instead, as NASA notes, "It is actually better to view the Orionids from 45 to 90 degrees away from the radiant". Don't worry - Newsround's got you covered.

'If you can fearless the cold, make a plan to stay out between midnight and 3am on Sunday morning to give yourself the best chance, and enjoy the thrill of seeing tiny flecks of Halley's Comet disintegrate at hypersonic speeds above your head'. You can find that out here.

However, the shower will be active throughout the month.

The meteors are particles from Halley's Comet, which only comes near Earth every 75 to 76 years.

Image copyright Digital Vision.

The celestial light display is thanks to debris falling from the orbit of Haley's Comet, as it burns up in Earth's atmosphere.

The best time to see the meteors will be around 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, so either plan that nap or settle in for a late night.

Star gazing requires clear skies and complete darkness for the most optimal results.

Meteor showers are named after the constellation where the rocks appear to be coming fromHow can you watch a meteor shower?

The best place to see the Orionid meteor shower (or any meteor shower for that matter), is somewhere dark, away from light pollution, and with the Moon out of your line of sight. It's a rare phenomenon because it can be seen best in the evening right after sunset, as opposed to just before dawn.

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