Halley’s Comet shooting stars to light up sky

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Shooting stars created by Halley’s Comet are set to light up Portsmouth’s night sky.

The comet, which is usually seen once every 75 years, is not due to make an appearance again until 2061.

However, a trail of Halley’s cosmic dust is expected to be visible to the naked eye tonight and tomorrow – wowing stargazers across the UK.

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This dust is likely to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere – sparking a dramatic display which could produce 25 shooting stars every hour.

Graham Bryant, chairman of the Hampshire Astronomical Group, which operates Clanfield Observatory, said that the display is likely to be visible from midnight tonight.

‘To see it, people should keep well away from artificial light and buildings - you need a good clear sky to look at. The shooting stars will appear to originate from the Orion constellation, which will rise in the east at around midnight. To see the stars, look 45degrees above the horizon over where Orion rises. There should be no problem in seeing them - they will be very bright.’

The shooting stars caused by Halley’s Comet, which was discovered and named by Edmond Halley in 1705 but it has long been documented as early back as 240BC, will not be the only reason to look to the skies tonight.

There will also be an incredibly bright International Space Station flight over the UK tonight from around 7.15pm to 7.19pm.

The station, travelling at 17,500 mph 250 miles up, will pass overhead from west to east south east, looking like a fast-moving bright star.