Blazing fireballs set to light up November skies as Leonid meteor shower passes

A celestial meteor shower is set to light up November’s night skies over the next few days.

The annual Leonids meteor shower became active shortly after Bonfire Night, but will stay with the world until the end of November.

It is likely to peak this weekend however, with the Leonids offering the opportunity to spot them on November 16 and November 17.

Skywatchers will be able to see the annual sky show during the early hours of the morning, with more flying space rocks expected to cover the skies than in 2019.

Moonlight skywatchers can expected to see around 10-15 meteors per hour and dawn, at around 3am Eastern Standard Time, or 8am GMT, will be the best time to spot the shower.

According to Space.com, more Leonid meteor showers will be occur this year because the moon will only be 5% illuminated during the night.

The Leonid shower occurs when Earth's orbit crosses the debris from the orbit of Comet Tempel-Tuttle, causing pieces of the comet to fall toward the planet’s surface.

Earth's atmosphere cause the comet's crumbs to heat up and ignite into burning balls of fire called meteors.

It is an annual occurrence and gets its name from the constellation Leo, the Lion, where its meteors appear to originate.

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According to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke: "The Leonids are an OK shower from the Southern Hemisphere.

"They're not quite as good, but almost as good," meaning Brits will get the best view of the fiery balls of rock.

Cooke said the shower can be seen without any special equipment, but gave some tips for budding astrologists and keen skywatchers.

He said: "Go outside, find a dark sky, lie flat on your back and look straight up.

"Be prepared to spend a couple of hours outside."

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