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Suffolk is the best place to catch a glimpse of the Leonids meteor shower

New research has revealed the best places to go stargazing ahead of the Leonids meteor shower today and tomorrow.

It is called the Leonid meteor shower because all of the shooting stars associated with it appear to originate from a point just below the head of Leo, the lion. The meteors fly in all directions from this point, and are anticipated to produce around 10-20 bright meteors an hour at their peak.

And it has been stated that the best stargazing place in the east of England as a whole is Westleton Common in Suffolk due to its designated Dark Sky Discovery Site status. Part of open coastal heathland, this location has good visibility on all sides, and it has been a popular destination for public stargazing sessions.

A Leonids meteor shower is set to light up the sky today (Tuesday, November 17) and tomorrow (Wednesday, November 18)
A Leonids meteor shower is set to light up the sky today (Tuesday, November 17) and tomorrow (Wednesday, November 18)

Over the county border in Norfolk, research shows Barrow Common in Brancaster and the Titchell Marsh Nature Reserve are the best places to take a break from daily life and catch a glimpse of the meteor shower.

There are 21 stargazing locations identified across the east by the new research.

Speaking about the research conducted by Ukcaravans4hire, wellbeing expert and co-founder of Everyday Juice Limited, Gary Butterfield said: “The beauty of this time of year is that it now gets dark earlier, so activities like stargazing have become more accessible.

"For me, looking up at the stars allows me the opportunity to reflect on the world and my place in it, because after all, there’s nothing more sobering than seeing just how big the universe really is.

"In addition, I like spending time under the stars because it fosters greater creativity, relieves stress and anxiety, and on a clear night it’s always exciting.”

The best time to go stargazing is in the days before, during and soon after a new moon. Nights when there is no bright moon at night and when the sun sets enough so that twilight does not affect observations present the best conditions. The remaining new moon of 2020 will be on December 14 after the recent one on November 15.

Researcher Gareth Irving, also director of UKCaravans4Hire.com, said: “With new lockdown restrictions limiting what activities families can do together and where they can travel, many are turning to new hobbies and local surroundings to keep entertained. Enjoying your local area and taking in the natural beauty is something many of us take for granted, especially when it’s right on our doorstep.

“Activities such as stargazing present an opportunity to explore our local areas in a new and immersive way, matching many people’s desire to improve their health and wellbeing whilst discovering the outdoors and getting closer to nature.

“It’s great to see just how many perfect stargazing spots there are as well as how many local authorities are now promoting their parks and outdoor spaces as stargazing spots."