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Leonid meteor shower

Leonid meteor shower

R305/0162

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Credit

DAN SCHECHTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAN SCHECHTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Leonid meteors, November 2001. This annual meteor shower gets its name by appearing to emanate from the constellation of Leo. The shower occurs for two days around the 17th November. Meteors are streaks of light caused by the burning up of dust particles in the upper atmosphere. They are also known as falling or shooting stars. This shower is caused by the Earth passing through the debris left in the orbit of the comet Tempel-Tuttle (55P). It peaks in intensity every 33 years, when Earth moves through a dense region of the debris. Photographed from California, USA.

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