The peak of the Taurid meteor shower is coming up in mid-November.
Before you can understand what the Taurid meteor shower is, first it is important to understand…
- What is a meteor?
- What is a meteor shower?
- Why do we have meteor showers?
Once a year, Earth runs into the debris field of Encke’s Comet. This comet’s nucleus is about 3 miles wide and takes 3.3 years to circle the sun. As the Earth flies around the Sun at 67,000 miles per hour, it runs into bits left behind by Comet Encke. This is what creates the annual Taurid’s meteor shower.
Meteor showers have a “radiant point”—all the meteors appear to streak away from a particular point in the sky. Meteor showers tend to be named after the constellation that serves as the radiant point. The Taurids are named after the constellation Taurus the Bull.
When can we see the Taurids?
The Taurids can be seen from October 20 to December 10, but tend to peak around November 12. They are often called the “Halloween fireballs” because they appear at the end of the October.
At their peak, you can see about 5 meteors per hour.
All meteor showers are best to see in the early morning hours before twilight.