How can you catch the cosmic fireworks in the skies over Ireland tonight?
It’s not quite Halloween but if you venture outside your house tonight you’re likely to see fireworks of a different kind.
Tonight is the best night to see a meteor shower that is due to streak across the Irish sky.
The meteorites or “shooting stars” are actually bits of the famous Halley’s Comet which have been discarded and left as a cloud of dust in space that the Earth will pass through tonight.
They’re commonly known as the Orionids and as Earth moves through the cloud, the particles fall into our atmosphere and burn up, creating spectacular streaks of light in the sky. The Orionids will appear straight over your head if you look up tonight. The peak of this shower is tonight and Monday morning, but the Orionids can be seen for several days either side of this evening.
To mark the occasion Astronomy Ireland is organising an online Nationwide Meteor Watch this weekend and would like people to report to their website how many shooting stars they can see in their location in a fifteen minute period.
They also say you do not need a telescope or any special equipment to catch the cosmic fireworks, just simply go out your front door and hope that the sky is clear, not a bad way to spend a Sunday evening.