All you need to know about the Leonids meteor shower

Leonids meteor shower this week

The Leonids meteor shower occurs annually in November and this year's display is due to start on Tuesday 17 November in the evening and it will run through into Wednesday morning.

Meteor showers happen when Earth's orbit takes us through the debris that follows a comet. When the Earth passes through the debris, particles burn up in the atmosphere.

According to EarthSky: "It occurs when Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet Tempel-Tuttle, which, like all comets, litters its orbit with bits of debris."

See also: Glowing green comet approaches earth

Those with their eyes trained on the sky can expect to see up to 15 meteors an hour during the shower, some years a meteor storm takes places, but this is not expected this time around.

Chronicle Live reports that the best time to see the meteor shower in the UK is between midnight and early morning. You won't need to worry about getting hold of any fancy star-gazing equipment either because the shower will be easily visible to the naked eye.

Rhiannon Blaauw, a scientist with NASA, spoke to and said: "You can see Leonids anytime between now and November 30th by going outside during a clear dark night... sometime between 3 am and dawn, letting your eyes adjust to the dark and taking in as much sky as possible (no telescopes/binoculars)."

See also: Perseids meteor shower gives Britain a beautiful show

The Leonids meteor shower gets its name from the Leo constellation of stars. The meteors shoot outwards from the stars, giving the effect of a lion's mane.

To have the best chance of seeing the meteor shower, you need to get away from strong artificial light found in city centres and head to darker areas in the countryside. Coastal areas are also perfect for viewing the shower as there is no light pollution over the sea.

Just a few weeks ago we reported on a meteor fireball that lit up the skies above Bangkok.

This came as part of the annual Taurid meteor shower that occurs at the beginning of November.

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All you need to know about the Leonids meteor shower

All You Need to Know About the Leonids Meteor Shower
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