Orionids Meteor shower 2021: What is it? How to watch it from Yorkshire? When will it peak this week?

Budding astronomers and stargazers will be treated to a fascinating display as the Orionids Meteor shower is set to brighten the night skies this week.

Stargazing at Brimham Rocks. (Pic credit: Danny Lawson / PA)

If weather conditions remain clear, you can spot the Orionids Meteor shower from your own garden without the need for a telescope.

Here is everything you need to know about the celestial event.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

What is the Orionids Meteor shower?

The Orionid Meteor shower results from dust coming off the tail of Halley’s Comet burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere almost 60 miles above us.

Halley’s Comet hasn’t been spotted since 1986, however, the Earth passes through its orbit twice a year, causing the Orionids in October.

The shower is named Orionids because they are thought to originate in the same part of the sky as the constellation, Orion.

How to watch them from Yorkshire?

It is recommended to get out of the city and find a quiet, less industrial town, village or countryside. Meteor showers can be best viewed in the darkness of night.

You don’t need the latest technology to view the meteor shower, just escape to an area with little artificial light and you will witness these shooting stars in all their glory. You will see around 10 to 20 meteors shoot through the sky per hour.

When will the meteor shower peak?

Whilst the meteors have been visible in the night since around October 2, they will peak in intensity on the late night of Thursday, October 21 and over the next few days.

For optimal viewing, stargazers will have to stay up a little later than usual tonight as the best results will show between 1am after midnight and dawn.