Science | The Taurid meteor shower is an exciting two-part celestial event, with the Southern Taurids emerging Nov 4-5. With the Northern Taurids making their appearance between Nov 12-13. This weekend look up to the sky because this event is one you don’t want to miss.
Fireballs Falling From The Sky
Taurid meteor showers are known to produce isolated, slow, and lengthy meteors, providing the perfect spectacle to watch for hours. Encke is a small-sized comet with a nucleus measuring approximately 2.98 miles in diameter, producing the Taurid meteors by shooting debris into the Earth’s atmosphere. According to the American Meteor Society, 2022 is on track to increase fireball activity this year. Every seven years fireballs become more active. The last major Taurid meteor shower occurred in 2015, which provided quite a spectacle to those who got to see it.
“The Taurids are rich in fireballs, so if you see a Taurid it can be very brilliant and it’ll knock your eyes out, but their rates suck,” said NASA meteor expert Bill Cook.
“It’s simply the fact that when a Taurid appears it’s usually big and bright.”
Slow and Steady
Taurids commonly produce only a few visible meteors every hour, but 2022 expects more meteors per hour than in previous years. As these meteor showers happen in late October, they sometimes have the moniker of Halloween fireballs. Meteors associated with Taurid are often larger than other meteors and can withstand entry into the Earth’s atmosphere for longer, according to NASA. Orionids burn up at altitudes of around 58 miles, while Taurids can last until roughly 42 miles from the Earth’s surface. Taurid meteors are slow, traveling at 17 miles per second or 65,000 miles per hour, compared to the Perseids, which travel much faster at 37 miles per second.
Where Can I View The Taurid Meteor Shower?
TAURUS CONSTELLATION POSITION:
Right ascension: 4 hours
Declination: 15 degrees
Visible between: Latitudes of 90 degrees and minus 65 degrees. The Taurid meteor showers will be visible anywhere on Earth, with the exception of the South Pole. The meteors get their name from the constellation of Taurus because they appear in the sky from this location.
How Do I Find The Taurus Constellation?
To find the Taurus constellation, look in the sky for the Orion constellation. Then look northeast, and you will find the red star Aldebaran, the eye of the bull, according to Space.com. Don’t look solely to the Taurus constellation to seek meteors, as the sky in neighboring constellations will have meteors shooting out over the course of the night. You might miss out on this celestial spectacle if you focus only on the Taurus constellation, so keep your eyes open.
What Is The Best Way To View The Taurid Meteor Shower?
Light pollution is the enemy when it comes to any celestial event. The best course of action is to go to the darkest and most remote location you can get to with a good vantage point. Binoculars and telescopes aren’t necessary and can make the viewing experience worse. Viewing with the naked eye after letting them adjust to the darkness is the best way to view the Taurid meteor shower because a wider field of view is better than having increased magnification when viewing meteor showers.
When Is The Best Time To View The Taurid Meteor Shower?
The best time to view the Taurid meteor shower is around midnight, as this is when the meteor shower is considered radiant, according to Space.com. Even though the Southern Taurids occur from Sept 10 til Nov 20, the peak is around Nov 4-5.