It’s November 11 and while everyone on the Internet is talking about the November supermoon scheduled for November 14, there is something that is going to be a great spectacle tonight – the second stage of the Taurid meteor showers aka North Taurids.
The meteor shower gets its name from the fact that the meteorites appear to be coming from the Taurus constellation and are fragments of the comet Encke that is said to have been part of a much larger comet may have broken apart years ago. People in many parts of the world have already witnesses the first phase of the meteor shower on November 4 and if you missed that tonight’s shower could be your chance.
The North Taurids will last from midnight of November 11 through to the early hours of November 12 and though moon is going to hinder our viewing, North Taurids will be brighter and those shooting away from the Moon will be seen as bright tiny fireballs with their frequency peaking around midnight. Because of the timing of the shower, it is also known as Halloween Fireballs.
The first stage of the Taurid meteor shower began on November 4 through to the early hours of November 5. This stage is called the South Taurids, which are very spread out and diffused. Because the South Taurids are spread out across the sky unlike the North Taurids, they put up an impressive light show.
Taurids do not put up as impressive a light show as the Perseids, which happen during August, and the frequency of the fireballs is much low. You will be able to see around seven of these fireballs zipping across the sky ever hour and so a lot of patience is in order if you want to really enjoy these Taurids. You will have to wait at least nine minutes between each fireball and if you miss one of those out you might have to wait for 18-20 minutes before you spot another.
Most of the Taurids will end up burning in Earth’s atmosphere, but in case there are bigger chunks lurking out there, it is possible that they might make it through the Earth’s atmosphere and reach Earth’s surface. If that’s the case and you are in an area where the meteor has landed, you could be in for a jackpot – at least scientifically – because none of the Taurids have ever been found.
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