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Earth set for annual Leonid shower

Meteor outlook not bright in Europe or US, though

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This week sees the annual lightshow that is the Leonid meteors, as debris from comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle comes to a fiery end in Earth's atmosphere.

According to New Scientist, the entertainment is due to kick off around 09:00 GMT tomorrow (17 November), with the peak occurring between 21:00 and 22:00 GMT as we pass through "two debris trails left by Tempel-Tuttle in 1466 and 1533".

The prediction is that "skywatchers in Asia and the easternmost parts of Europe will have the best view of these intense showers, because the sky will be dark and the apparent point of origin of the meteors... will be over the horizon".

The best time for US spotters to catch the Leonids - so named because they appear to radiate from the constellation Leo - is before dawn tomorrow. Those of us in western Europe should look skywards in the wee hours of 18 November for a chance to catch the post-peak burn-ups. ®

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