After the solar storm last week that brought on a showing of the Northern Lights, the night sky is set to be illuminated again by shooting stars.

People in Scotland could see shooting stars as Earth passes through debris left by Halley's comet.

However, the full moon tonight threatens to block the view of stargazers, outshining all but the brightest meteors.

The Orionid meteor shower is usually active this month and is expected to peak Thursday night between midnight and dawn.

Under the best conditions on Thursday, eagle-eyed stargazers can see 20 meteors an hour.

Startrails are seen during the Lyrids meteor shower over Michaelskapelle on April 21, 2020 in Niederhollabrunn, Austria. The clear skies created by the New Moon coincide with the Lyrid meteor shower, an annual display caused by the Earth passing through a cloud of debris from a comet called C/186 Thatcher. (Photo by Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images)
A clear, very dark night would be the perfect conditions to see a meteor shower

Where to see the meteor shower

Dr Greg Brown, astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, told the PA news agency: "The Orionid meteor shower peaks in the early hours of October 21 but will still have reasonable rates on the nights before and after this.

"One of two showers produced by Halley’s Comet, this is only a moderate shower with around 20 meteors per hour under ideal conditions.

"Unfortunately, with the full moon in the sky throughout the night, even if the weather is good it may be tough to see all but the brightest handful of meteors, with the rest hiding in the moonlight."

How to spot the meteor shower

Orion and Canis Major, taking in Canis Minor as well, including the dog stars Sirius (lower) and Procyon (upper left). Around Orion you can see Barnards Loop, as well as the Horsehead Nebula area below the Belt of Orion and the Orion Nebula in the Sword of Orion. Betelgeuse is at top left of Orion, Rigel at bottom right.
The Orion and Canis Major constellations

Space.com advises viewers to look north of the constellation near Orion's sword.

Winter is the perfect time to spot the Orion nebula in the Northern Hemisphere.

Its three medium-bright stars are distinctive for being in a short, straight row - that's Orion's Belt.

Orion's sword is the curved line of stars appearing to hang from Orion's Belt.

Space.com writes: "Skywatchers are also advised to look away from the constellation, rather than straight at the origin point, because the meteors leave trails behind that last for several seconds.

"Therefore, looking away from the constellation allows viewers to see those longer streaks of brightness."

Is this meteor shower special?

Some people consider the shower to be extra special as the meteors are pieces of Comet 1P/Halley, famously known as Halley's Comet.

The comet swings by the Earth only once every 75-76 years but this annual shower provides some compensation for those who may miss that once-in-a-lifetime event.

As the comet follows its path around the sun, it leaves behind a trail of tiny debris.

This enters Earth's atmosphere at speeds of around 41 miles per second, causing the streaks of light we call meteors as it vaporises from friction with the air.