Perth, look up to the skies and see ... a spectacular meteor shower

If you find yourself out in Northbridge and see bright lights in the sky around midnight, don't panic - you're experiencing a celestial event, not a cerebral dent.

The annual Orionids meteor shower is marking the night skies above the earth as minuscule fragments of dust left behind by Halley's Comet drape the atmosphere and burn up in cascades of light.

Ed Jones from the Perth Observatory said the meteor shower can be seen with the naked eye - and Friday night's display above WA could be the best for local skywatchers.

"It will peak tonight from around midnight and then on Saturday night at around one am - crucially though it's a new moon tonight so there will be little light pollution from that and we should have very clear skies with good weather forecast," he said.

"After Saturday it will start to drop off, so Friday is the best chance. For the best view you just need to get somewhere where you can see the horizon and have a clear view from the north, north east - that's the direction it will be coming from.

"You'll want to see about a hand or so's width above the horizon, and get away from light as much as you can, so Perth hills, down south, anywhere you can get away from light. Perth Observatory is of course a great spot!"

Another thing to look for in the night sky is the International Space Station, which will be making a pass across Perth at around 6:35pm on Friday night, and then again on Saturday night at 7:20pm.

Mr Jones said events like these hark back to the earliest days of astronomy, when everything was observed with just the naked eye.

"All you need is patience and bit of clear sky and you can see some spectacular things. Just be patient, and let it come. The meteors and the ISS are brilliant things to see, and up at the observatory when we have tours we often stop and have a look just to show people what's possible."

This story Perth, look up to the skies and see ... a spectacular meteor shower first appeared on WA Today.