Southern Taurids Meteor Shower

The annual Southern Taurids Meteor shower delivers meteors to observers worldwide from September 23rd to November 19th. It will peak overnight around Tuesday this week.

Various sources give different dates for the peak of Southern Taurids Meteor Shower. November 4, 5 and 6 are good for observing meteors.

The long-lasting, weak shower is derived from debris dropped by the passage of a periodic comet named 2P/Encke, the second such comet to be discovered, in 1786. (Periodic comets such as 1P/Halley and 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko orbit in our solar system on a regular schedule, never venturing too close to the sun to be disintegrated.)

The cometary debris’ larger than average grain size often produce colorful fireballs. The peak of activity, when up to five meteors per hour are predicted, will occur at about 1 am EST (or 06:00 Greenwich Mean Time). At that time, Earth will be traversing the densest part of the comet’s debris train. On the peak night, the waxing first quarter moon will set at midnight, leaving the post-midnight sky dark enough for meteor watching.

You can start watching for Southern Taurids as soon as it’s dark. The best viewing time will occur in the hours after midnight local time, when the shower’s radiant, located in western Taurus, will be highest in the sky. (When a shower’s radiant of low in the sky, the local horizon hides many of the meteors.)

There are more meteor showers coming soon. Keep up with our news and enjoy the sky!

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