A meteor shower will light up skies across the UK this week as stargazers will be able to catch a glimpse of the annual Leonid meteor shower.

A shooting star display will be visible as the Leonids, usually fast, bright meteors, are associated with Comet Tempel-Tuttle pass Earth.

The point where they appear to stream from is at the head of the constellation Leo the Lion, hence the name.

A tiny path of debris is left by the comet as it follows its path around the sun, and this enters Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of up to 70 kilometres per second, vaporising and causing the streaks of light we call meteors.

They can be seen with the naked eye, and are best viewed with clear skies away from light pollution.

When can I see the Leonid meteor shower?

This year the best time to see the spectacular will be pre-dawn on Wednesday night wich will mean the early hours of Thursday morning.

Those who miss the peak on Wednesday night might still be able to view the shower, as it continues at a reduced rate for several days on either side.

Swanage and Wareham Voice: Leonid meteor shower: where to look. (PA)Leonid meteor shower: where to look. (PA)

Met Office forecast to see the Leonid meteor shower

The Met Office forecast for Wednesday to Friday is for changeable weather in the north with spells of rain or showers and often windy.

It says it will be largely dry in the south with variable cloud.

Displays are better when the Tempel-Tuttle comet, which takes 33 years to orbit the sun, is closer to the Earth, an occurrence which is next due in about 15 years’ time.