Skygazers will get the chance to see several shooting stars next week as Earth passes through dust left over from Halley's Comet.

The "Eta Aquariid" meteor shower can be seen between late April and May every year, and is expected to be at peak visibility over the bank holiday weekend.

Meteoroids from Halley's Comet strike the Earth's atmosphere at roughly 150,000 miles per hour (240,000kph) and burn up in the process.

They are named Eta Aquariid because they appear to emerge from the star constellation of Aquarius, which sits above the southern hemisphere.

However, the location of Aquarius means some of the shooting stars might be difficult to see.

Dhara Patel, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, says the best time to see the shower will be between midnight and dawn on Monday May 7.

This is the period when the sky will be darkest and the shower will be at its brightest.

Image:A graphic shows the best way to see Eta Aquariid will be to look at the Aquarius constellation

Ms Patel also recommends standing away from artificial lights.

She said: "At this time of the year, much of Aquarius remains below the horizon until the predawn hours.

"For those of us in the northern hemisphere, this meteor shower is not favourably placed."

The astronomer continued: "Typically, after midnight would be a good time to look for meteors but for the Eta Aquariids you'll need to wait until the early hours, around 3am to 4am.

"The waning gibbous moon is also close by, meaning there is likely to be interference from moonlight.

"It's best to head away from the city to a rural location where there are few buildings and trees to obscure your view of the south-eastern horizon in particular.

"Heading to higher altitudes may also make viewings easier.

"Remember, the best tool for the job is your eyes as they give you the widest field of view.

"It will be challenging to spot meteors from this shower but some do leave persistent trains so you could still spot a few."

Halley's Comet, officially named 1P/Halley, is visible from Earth every 74 to 79 years.

More from Space

It last appeared in 1986 and will next appear in mid-2061.

The comet can be seen with the naked eye, and is the only one that might be spotted from Earth twice in a lifetime.

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