STARGAZERS across Scotland could be in for a spectacular cosmic display on Friday night, as long as the weather stays clear.

At midnight on Friday, the Orionids meteor shower will be at its peak with debris from Halley’s comet set to streak across the night sky.

The Orionids is the most prolific of all the showers linked to Halley’s comet and while active throughout October, the space phenomenon will be at its most vibrant on Friday night – with up to 25 visible meteors an hour.

The display should be visible until the early hours of Saturday morning.

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Getting its name from the Orion constellation – which in turn was named after a hunter in Greek mythology – the shower is one of the best-known and easily visible in the calendar.

The shower itself comprises fragments that come away from Halley’s comet as it flies around the sun.

The debris subsequently enters the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of around 41 miles per second, causing the chunks to vaporise from friction and sparking streaks of light we call meteors.

Since both the Earth and the comet have elliptical orbits around the sun, the two cross paths twice a year, producing the Orionid shower.

At the time of writing, the weather forecast is for scattered clouds across Scotland with large areas remaining clear for Friday night.