Look up! Taurid meteor ‘swarm’ producing plenty of fireballs in the sky
It’s not a meteor shower astronomers really talk that much about, although this year it’s put on quite a show — and it’s not over.
The Taurid meteor shower (there are actually two: the southern Taurids and the northern Taurids), isn’t a particularly active shower, with just a mere five appearing in its peak.
However, some years — most notably in 2005 and 2008 — the shower has produced some impressive fireballs, extremely bright meteors. It was anticipated that this year would be a “swarm” year, with many more fireballs lighting up our sky. And it turns out, the predictions were correct.
Fireballs outshining the moon have been reported in several countries, including Canada. A fireball was seen over Toronto as it broke apart on Tuesday night.
Martin Popek put together a video of some impressive fireballs over Poland this week.
And the great part is, you still have time to see it for yourself.
It’s anticipated that the fireball activity could last until around Nov. 11 or 12, when the northern Taurids usually peak.
If you’ve got clear skies, you can head out to catch them for yourself.
You need to look up, of course, but more specifically, toward the constellation Taurus, after which the shower is named. The radiant, or place where the meteors appear to originate, is in Taurus.
The constellation rises in the east about two hours after sunset. It’s better to wait until it’s darker and Taurus has risen higher in the sky. However, meteors have also been seen in the early evening.
So if you get the chance and the weather co-operates, head outside and be patient: sometimes it might take a while, but you’re likely to be impressed.
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