Leonids meteor shower to peak this week


Unfortunately, this year's rain will not create a meteor storm, which you can see up to 1,000 meteors per hour. The shower is best seen after midnight. It is advised to witness meteor showers with naked eyes, since telescopes or binoculars can narrow the field of vision.

The website timeanddate.com has details on when the meteor shower will be visible around the world.

The name of the starfall comes from its radiant - the place from where burning particles visually appear in the sky - the constellation Leo.

Most of the UK is expected to be covered in clouds over the next 24 hours, so finding a clear sky may prove hard, according to the UK Met Office. This time, the shower will occur when the Moon is under 5% full. Pick a spot away from city lights, lay flat on your back and enjoy.

The displays from the Leonid meteor shower are better when the Tempel-Tuttle comet is closest to Earth.

A comet is a rock covered in ice, methane and other compounds. This is described as a meteor shower. The last time this happened was in 2001. Most are so small they are vapourised in the atmosphere.

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A meteor forms when a meteoroid, a type of space rock that breaks off from an asteroid - a rocky body orbiting the sun - enters Earth's atmosphere.

Leonids have also impacted the moon, which lacks a protective atmosphere. First visual observations made from earth had confirmed this phenomenon in 1999.

When the comet returns in 2031 and 2064, it's possible there will be meteors in excess of 100 per hour, but it's likely that until then, skywatchers will see roughly 15 shower members per hour, with "perhaps an occasional weak outburst when the earth passes near a debris trail", AMS explained.

Reports state that the Leonids will be most visible in the Northern Hemisphere, but can also be seen from the Southern Hemisphere.

Comet Temple-Tuttle will return to the inner solar system in 2031. The Geminids and Ursids will be visible next month.

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