LAST week's peak of the Orionid meteor shower came and went without anyone really noticing - hardly surprising as the mist we were going to see was one or two every hour, not the 25 per hour people were predicting on social media and on the TV - but there are two much better showers to come before year's end, and I'll be sure to tell you about those at the time.

At the moment the evening sky is dominated by a trio of planets, which are all visible in the southern part of the sky as soon as darkness falls.

Look to the south-west as twilight deepens and you'll see a bright "star" low in that part of the sky.

This is actually the planet Venus, currently wearing its "Evening Star" hat (it's visible before sunrise sometimes too, as a Morning Star, but far fewer people see it then).

Many people mistake Venus for the International Space Station, but whereas the ISS moves across the sky, tracing out an arc from west to east, Venus just hangs there in the sky like a distant lantern. It's easy to see with the naked eye, it's so bright, and as the weeks pass now it will get higher in the sky and brighter too.

Look to the upper left of Venus, over to the south, and you'll see two more planets, Jupiter and Saturn, also looking like stars to the naked eye but nowhere near as bright as Venus. Jupiter, on the left of the pair, is the brighter of the two, and shines with a silvery-blue light, while Saturn, a hand's width away to its lower right, has a more yellow-white hue.