Skygazers are set to catch a glimpse of shooting stars during a meteor shower tonight - in between rainy spells.

When is it and what could I see?

The Draconid meteor shower, also known as the Giacobinids, will peak at 2am on October 9, as blustery rain continues to sweep across the country.

But forecasters say there will be 'clear spells' that will allow the cosmic spectacle to be visible to the naked eye.

Though the meteor shower 'peaks' at 2am, astronomy site EarthSky recommends watching at nightfall or early evening.

Despite experts predicting the celestial show will not be as impressive as last year due to the positioning of the moon, they say meteor showers can be unpredictable and spectacular displays have been known.


Will the weather be good enough to see it?

Grahame Madge, a Met Office spokesman, said: "The outlook overnight will be showery across the UK, with Scotland experiencing the heaviest and most prolonged showers and the south-east of England the least.

"In between showers there will be clear spells, so most locations should enable skywatchers the chance to experience some of the meteor shower."

What is it all about?

The Draconid meteor shower takes place every year and is one of the two meteor showers to light up the skies in October.

The streaks spawn from the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, which orbits around the sun for six-and-a-half years.

Anna Ross, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said: "Most of this debris will burn up at a height of around 80km (50 miles) above the ground, so this is not a dangerous event."

The celestial phenomenon gets its name from the Draco the Dragon constellation, which lies in the far northern part of the sky, and the comet that is responsible for it.

The Draconids will be visible in northern America, Europe and Asia until October 10, with around 5-20 meteors per hour during its peak.

The best way to spot the meteor shower

Ms Ross said: "For the best chances to spot them, find a dark area of clear sky and allow around 20 minutes to let your eyes adapt to the dark.

"It may also be advisable to lie down as you may be looking up for a long time."

The centre of the meteor shower is roughly located to the north west in the night sky.

A second meteor shower, the Orionids, will also take place later this month, peaking on October 21.