During the next couple of months, the UK is set to see several amazing displays in the skies.
From shooting stars to meteors, the skies above Essex will be lit up with several magnificent displays.
Before the end of the year, the Taurids, Leonids, Geminids and Ursids meteor showers are all set to light up the sky.
The clearer skies will be perfect for some lockdown stargazing.
Whether you will be watching the stars from your garden, balcony or from one of Essex’s many open spaces, the displays are set to be stunning.
Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming meteor showers
Where is the best place to stargaze?
Normally, the best place to watch the stars is from one of the UK’s National Parks, however with lockdown that is not possible.
We have all been told to stay at home whenever we can, but that doesn’t mean we can’t stargaze.
Areas that are dark are the best places to watch the stars because of a lower level of light pollution.
If you live in a rural area you have the best chance of seeing the showers, but those in cities may still be able to spot them.
The best place to go is in a garden or on a balcony.
The higher and further away you can get from buildings the better.
Meteor showers are much easy to see on clear nights, so the weather plays a big part in how visible they will be.
When are the meteor showers?
November and December are set to see several meteor showers fill the sky.
The Taurids is one of the longest lasting meteor showers we can see.
It started back in October, but there is still plenty of time to catch a beautiful view of it.
This shower isn’t as frequent as some of the others, with around 10 meteors spotted per hour, but it does provide some of the most beautiful ones to watch.
The meteors are slow moving, meaning we are far more likely to spot them.
They appear when Earth collides with debris from comet Encke.
These meteors are very spread out, and you may have already seen some of them.
The Taurids are split into two, the South Taurids, which occur between September 25 and November 25 and the North Taurids, between October 12 and December 2.
Your best chance of spotting them is on November 10 and 11 when they are due to peak.
Described as being one of the most ‘prolific’ showers of the year, The Leonids is sure to provide an amazing display.
The meteors in this shower are fast and bright, moving at up to an incredible 70 kilometres per second.
This shower occurs when Earth collides with debris from Comet Tempel-Tuttle.
It is named after the constellation it appears from, Leo the Lion.
The meteors, which have fire trains, should be visible from Earth on the horizon.
The Leonids can normally be seen between November 15 – 20 and this year they will peak on November 17 – 18 between midnight and dawn.
One of the last major showers of 2020 will be The Geminids.
They take place when Earth collides with debris from asteroid 3200 Phaethon.
This normally produces very bright, moderately fast meteors that you can watch.
The Geminids are a different type of meteor shower because it originates from the debris of an asteroid.
Because of this, they produce a beautiful shower full of colour.
You can often see displays full of of white, yellow, green, red and blue which are caused by metals like sodium or calcium in the shower.
At its peak, The Geminids can produce 100 meteors per hour and are incredible to watch.
It is normally visible between December 14 and 17 and this year it is due to peak on December 14-15.
The Ursids isn’t likely to produce a lot of meteors, but those it does (around five per hour) are stunning to watch.
It produces a beautiful streak of light from debris left behind by comet 8P/Tuttle and appears to radiate from constellation Ursa Minor.
This display is just in time for Christmas, and can add a real sense of magic for the festive period.
It is normally visible between December 17 and 25 and this year it is due to peak between December 21 and 22.
For 2020 there will be a crescent moon which means there is an even higher chance of spotting The Ursids.