The annual Orionite meteor shower is set to peak on Wednesday night, giving the UK a chance to see the skyline throughout the week.
The event will bring “bursts of long light” that, according to NASA, will illuminate the sky up to 20 “shooting stars” every hour.
Scattered clouds and rain in many parts of the UK on Wednesday mean the best chance to see orionites on Thursday when weather conditions appear to be most favorable.
The UK Meteorological Agency forecast “heavy and continuous rain” on Tuesday and Wednesday, but “mainly dry Thursday”.
Despite peaking this week, the Orionite meteor shower will continue until November 7, when it first appeared on October 2.
The best way to see them is to see a part of the sky near the elevated club of the Orion galaxy, which is seen just before dawn.
The meteor will erupt in all directions, but will emerge from above Orion – most famous for its three-star belt.
Orion, named after a hunter from Greek mythology, is one of the most important and recognizable constellations, and is located in the southwestern sky in the northern hemisphere.
There are various free and premium smartphone applications for Android and iOS devices that can be used to locate Orion using the phone’s built-in gyroscope.
Useful astronomical applications include Skyview Lite, Sky Safari and Sky Map.
When looking at the night sky, NASA advises allowing up to 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to darkness. At this time, people are encouraged not to look at phone screens or other light sources.
Once adjusted, light paths from the meteorite can be seen with the naked eye, lasting from a few seconds to minutes.
A recent blog post on NASA’s website said: “Faster meteorites can sometimes turn into fireballs: Look at the prolonged bursts of light as you watch the Orionite meteor shower.”
The U.S. space agency also said that optimistic visitors should go as far as possible away from urban space pollution.
The International Meteorological Organization says that 2020 Orionite meteor shower will see an unusually large peak.
Occurring as the Earth passes through the orbit of Haley’s comet, Orionites can produce up to 70 meteors per hour in a good year.