Comet Tempel-Tuttle

Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle

A comet discovered independently by Tempel and Tuttle between 1865 and 1866, a fact which gives it its 'double-barrelled' name. Tempel-Tuttle has a relatively short orbital period, coming close the Sun once every thirty-three years. Its orbit comes very close to that of Earth, a fact which causes impressive meteor showers as Earth passes through debris left in the wake of the comet. These showers, known as the Leonids, occur each year in November, with especially dense activity every thirty-three years (coinciding with the comet's orbit). The last such meteor 'storm' happened in 2009, and the next is due in 2042.

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