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Last Updated: Thursday December 09 2004 13:06 GMT

Worksheet: Clouds spoil view for meteor watchers

Bad weather made it difficult for many skywatchers around the world to get a good view of the Leonid meteor shower.

Astronomers expected an intense flurry of shooting stars - and observers in North America and the Asia-Pacific region reported seeing streaks of light every few seconds.

868AD: First Leonid shower reported
1866: Ernst Tempel and Horace Tuttle discovered Tempel-Tuttle comet
Travel at about 257,000km per hour
Tempel-Tuttle comet goes around the sun every 33 years
The meteors are the size of sand particles
But clouds and rain obscured the view for many other people around the globe.

Every November the Earth crosses the path of the Leonid meteors.

Space dust

The meteors are actually particles of dust left behind by the comet Tempel-Tuttle as it travels around the sun.

The American space agency, Nasa, reported between 800 and 1,000 meteors an hour.

On a normal day there would only be about 10 to 15 in that time.


Scan the story and answer these questions:

1. What is the name of the meteor shower that it was difficult to get a good view of?

2. In which two regions were the observers who reported seeing streaks of light every few seconds?

3. In which month does the Earth cross the pass of the meteors?

4. What is the name of the comet that leaves behind the meteor dust?

5. How many meteors an hour have been reported by Nasa?

6. How many meteors an hour would there be on a normal day?

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