Perfect conditions allow us to see a stellar meteor shower

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Crystal-clear skies, which sent the thermometer plunging, ensured a stunning view of the annual Geminid meteor shower.Astronomers said weather conditions last night were close to PERFECT to watch the bright meteors – with the best time being around 2am.

The brightly-coloured meteors travel at more than 22miles per second and burn up in dazzling colour displays some 24miles above the Earth

But unlucky sky-watchers will be able to watch the stunning showers throughout the upcoming week – which will continue until December 17.The brightly-coloured meteors travel at more than 22miles per second and burn up in dazzling colour displays some 24miles above the Earth.At the height of a display, the Geminids produce between 50 and 100 shooting stars every hour – and will often include rapid bursts of two or three at a time.Shooting stars were spotted erupting across the night sky just a little after midnight in London and the Dover Patrol Memorial in St Margarets Bay, Kent.

The meteor shower was visible in both hemispheres and was spotted from Skopje in Macedonia to Washington in the US because of the chilled clear skies.

A group of friends huddle together to watch the meteor shower rain over Britain

A group of friends huddle together to watch the meteor shower rain over Britain

A Geminid meteor streaks across the sky with the Dover Patrol Memorial

A Geminid meteor streaks across the sky with the Dover Patrol Memorial

An unusual feature of the annual Geminid display is the variety in colour of the meteors.Pictures of the display raining down across Britain last night show most glowing white, but others in vibrant yellow, blue, green and red.Noted for their sheer numbers, the Geminids are among the strongest and most reliable sky shows around – even besting the famed Perseids in August.Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through clouds of cometary dust.

The tiny particles – some measuring not much bigger than a single grain of sand – burn brightly as they pass through the atmosphere.


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