UK & World News
Geminid Meteor Shower Brings Shooting Stars
Stargazers have been looking up to the heavens for a glimpse of a meteor shower in the night sky.
The spectacle was expected to peak at 11.30pm in the UK on Thursday night.
Tens of "shooting stars" were to streak across the sky each hour but would only be seen if conditions were good, said Dr Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society.
He earlier warned the view in the UK could be hampered by poor weather.
"It's just about being somewhere dark - if there is a clear sky," Dr Massey told Sky News.
With rain or drizzle expected in much of the country, the North East was promised the best chance of enjoying the show.
On the upside, the moon was out of sight, resulting in a darker sky and increasing prospects for a good view.
Unlike many astronomical phenomena, meteors are best seen without a telescope and are perfectly safe to watch, the Royal Astronomical Society said.
They are the result of small particles entering the Earth's atmosphere at high speed, burning up and super-heating the air around them.
This creates their characteristic streak of light.
The annual shower is called Geminid because the meteors appear to originate from a "radiant" in the constellation of Gemini.
According to the International Meteor Organisation, which co-ordinates meteor observations, the shower's high-level activity is spread over a period lasting a day or more, meaning if conditions are right the event can be observed until Saturday morning.