"Another term for a very bright meteor, generally brighter than magnitude -4, which is about the same magnitude of the planet Venus as seen in the morning or evening sky". Skygazers are having a field day as the Orionid meteor shower has reached its best viewing.
The dazzling meteors are in fact remnants of the famous Halley's Comet, which passes Earth every 74 to 79 years. The orbit of our Earth around the Sun crosses paths with the debris at certain times of the year.
This weekend, the annual Orionid meteor shower will peak, giving sky-watchers the chance to see dozens of shooting stars as debris originating from Halley's Comet hurtles towards the Earth.
The Perseid Meteor Shower seen over The Scorhill Stone Circle in Dartmoor, DevonWhen is the next meteor shower in the UK? Its absence provides darker skies to enjoy the show. Expect to see between 10-30 meteors an hour.
On a dark and moonless night, the Orionids produce as many as 10 to 20 bursts every hour. If you spot the Orion constellation, the meteor shower's point of origin will be near the Orion sword, slightly north of his left shoulder (the star Betelgeuse). Watch it with naked eyes as binoculars and telescopes won't help in improving the view because they are created to see more stationary objects in the sky. Experts recommend secluded spots far away from city lights for the best viewing.
Some Orionids will be very fast and bright as they can whiz by at up to 148,000 miles per hour (238,000 km/h) in relative speed.
Meteor showers take place when space rocks, also known as meteoroids, enter the earth's atmosphere.
Cooke said the tiny comet fragments are called meteoroids and they are as small as a grain of sand.