How to watch the Leonid meteor shower in the UAE

The bright meteors travel across the skies at a speed of 71 kilometres per second

Leonid meteors streak through the sky over Hora Mountain in China's Xinjiang region in 2021. Getty Images
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A bright and colourful meteor shower is expected to light up skies over the UAE this week.

The showers take place from November 3 to the first week of December, but are expected to be at their peak on Friday and Saturday.

The best time to observe the showers is from midnight onwards on Saturday, if the weather conditions offer a clear view.

"Leonids are also known for their fireballs and Earth-grazer meteors," Nasa said.

"Fireballs are larger explosions of light and colour that can persist longer than an average meteor streak.

"Earth-grazers are meteors that streak close to the horizon and are known for their long and colourful tails."

Leonid meteors originate from comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1865.

Pieces of debris from the comet interact with the Earth's atmosphere, creating the meteor shower.

The US space agency said there is also a Leonid storm every 33 years that can peak with hundreds to thousands of meteors per hour.

The last storm took place in 2002, but one of the most spectacular ones happened in 1966, when thousands of meteors per minute fell through Earth's atmosphere in the space of 15 minutes.

"There were so many meteors seen that they appeared to fall like rain," Nasa said.

The next meteor shower will be the Geminids, which take place in December and are visible in most parts of the world.

Updated: November 16, 2023, 3:30 AM