North Taurids Meteor Shower

Northern Taurid fireballs are visible all of November

Taurid’s “swarm”, which is made up of bright meteors known as fireballs, continues to be strong this month.

Last week saw the peak of the Southern Taurids, with fireball sightings lasting through the first week in November. But it’s not over. EarthSky predicts that the Northern Taurids will peak on Saturday.

Robert Lunsford is the American Meteor Society’s fireball report coordinator. “The Taurids peak at about five meteors an hour, but there’s always the chance that one of those five could be a fireball. This is brighter than any star, planet, or star in the sky.” “Only the moon and the sun are brighter than normal fireballs so they are very spectacular when you do see one.”

The Southern Taurids are active between September 23 and November 12, while the Northern Taurids can be active between October 13 and December 2. The possibility of fireballs increasing when both showers are active at once can be a problem, particularly during Taurid swarm years.

Showers reach their respective peak points at the point where Earth is closest to each stream’s center. When Jupiter is close enough, it pulls on the streams with its gravitation. This causes debris to condense and creates a spike of fireballs. This happened seven years ago, in 2015 and 2008 respectively. The meteor society predicted that it would again happen in 2022.

Mike Hankey, American Meteor Society’s operations manager, and creator of the fireball tracking program said that “it’s a very fascinating shower that produces lots of fireballs.” It’s been well-known for its fireballs but we are seeing an increase in data each day this month. There have been many fireballs.”

Origin of the Taurids

Taurids radiate in the direction of the Taurus constellation. However, it is best to avoid that area as the meteors’ trails are shorter there. Fireballs can be seen everywhere in the sky. They won’t be affected by the November 8 bright moon, as they can outshine all elements of the night.

Both the Northern and Southern Taurids derive their components from Comet Encke. It has the shortest orbit around our sun at just over three years. Encke leaves behind a trail of debris every time it passes Earth. This makes it a prolific producer of meteoroids. It takes several weeks for the strain to reach our planet through the meteor shower.

Comet Encke will be back in October 2023.

A fireball in your eyes

Taurid meteors can move slowly, but can sometimes shine very brightly depending on their size. According to NASA, meteors that are larger than a meter (3.3 ft) in diameter tend to shine brightest and move slowly. While fireballs can be visible for several seconds in the sky, most meteors are only visible for a fraction of a second. Fireballs can be described as bright, with colors such as red, orange, or green.

Lunsford stated that although you won’t see fireballs all the time, there will be meteors every night. It’s an inexpensive thing you can do. It doesn’t take a telescope to do it; your eyes work just as well.

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