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Several Leonids meteors are seen streaking through the sky over Joshua Tree National Park, California USA. REED SAXON/AP/Press Association Images

600 year old meteors to rain on earth

Observers may see almost twice as many meteors per hour compared to last Saturday’s meteor shower.

A METEOR SHOWER first observed the year Joan of Arc was born will appear above Irish skies this evening.

The Leonid shower, named after the constellation Leo from which it seems to originate, appears every November when the earth’s orbit takes it through the trail of dust particles left by the comet Tempel-Tuttle.

Tiny pieces of the Tempel-Tuttle comet, which orbits the sun every 33 years, will fall like debris over the earth’s atmosphere and create a trail of dust that will appear for several hours.

“The Moon will be out of the way later on in the evening so it is definitely worth going outside to try to see some bright Leonids, said David Moore, Chairman of Astronomy Ireland. “Sometimes large pieces of debris enter the atmosphere and flare up extremely brightly as fireballs – these can often land on the ground!”

The annual shower has produced up to 1000 comets a minute, as it did in 1966. However, observers say that it is more likely to produce between 10 and 20 tonight.

Did you see the meteor shower over Ireland last night?>

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