Leonid meteor shower lights up night sky

The Leonid meteor shower lit up the night sky over Britain.

The best time to see the space spectacle was between midnight and before dawn on Friday morning.

The meteor shower was also visible in other parts of the world with an image showing a streak of light piercing through the sky above Vladivostok, Russia.

The Leonids are one of the more prolific annual meteor showers and are usually fast and bright.

When they are visible, meteors appear to stream from 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.

This enters Earth's atmosphere at speeds of up to 70km (43 miles) per second, vaporising and causing the streaks of light we call meteors.

Stargazers were not expected to need specialist equipment to see the display as each year it is visible to the naked eye in clear skies.

Rural areas away from city light pollution provide the best viewing points.

The Met Office forecast for Thursday night was for rain to continue across some northern and northeastern areas, heavy and persistent in places, especially across hills in eastern Scotland.

But it forecasted clearer skies in parts of the South and West.

The meteors were expected to be visible in all parts of the sky, so a wide-open space where the night sky could be scanned would have provided a good place to witness the event.

Those who missed out on the shower's peak on Friday still have a chance to glimpse the display as it continues for several days.