Moment meteor shower streaks across the night sky on Christmas Day

This is the stunning moment a meteor shower shot across the night sky near Essex on Christmas Day.


Photographer Paul Rowe captured the incredible pictures of the shooting stars streaking through the atmosphere above Colchester in Essex on December 25.  


The annual display, known as the Ursid meteor shower, was at its peak on Dec 21 and 22 but the shower but continued into Christmas Day.


The shower is created by debris from Comet 8P Tuttle smashing into the Earth's atmosphere, with as many as five to ten shooting stars an hour.


As specks of ice and dust left in the wake of the comet hit the Earth's atmosphere at 45 miles per second, they cause the appearance of shooting stars.


The shooting stars emanated from the Ursa Minor constellation, also known as the Little Bear, and made for some truly fantastic shots.


The Ursid shower takes place every year between 17 and 23 December.


The best way to see a meteor shower is in areas away from any light pollution such as heavily lit areas of urban towns and cities.

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