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Leonid meteor and Pleiades star cluster

Leonid meteor and Pleiades star cluster

R305/0180

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Credit

WALTER PACHOLKA, ASTROPICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY WALTER PACHOLKA, ASTROPICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption

Leonid meteor and Pleiades star cluster. Optical image of a Leonid meteor (bright streak) to the left of the Pleiades star cluster. Meteors, or shooting stars, are tiny particles of dust which enter the Earth's atmosphere with speeds of 35-95 kilometres per second. Air resistance heats the particles, making them visible as streaks of light. The Leonid meteor shower occurs annually around 17th November when the Earth crosses the path of debris produced by the Tempel-Tuttle 1886 I comet. The Pleiades (Seven Sisters) star cluster contains about 3000 stars. It is about 390 light years from Earth in the constellation Taurus.

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