Share

North Taurid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

By Michele Berger
Published: November 11, 2013

The Taurid meteor shower peaks tonight after midnight. This image is from the 2012 shower. (Mike Lewinski/Flickr)

Last week, the South Taurid meteor shower peaked. Tonight it’s time for North Taurid. It will happen late in the evening tonight until dawn tomorrow, according to EarthSky.  

“Generally speaking, the North Taurid meteors are few and far between at mid-evening and tend to pick up steam around midnight,” EarthSky reports. “Best time to watch will be the hours before dawn. Expect as many as five to 10 meteors per hour.”

Tonight’s moon is in the gibbous phase, meaning the part we see is “greater than half, but not yet a full moon,” according to NASA. (The full moon, which in November is called the Beaver moon, happens next week on Nov. 17.) It’s pretty bright, too, notes Space.com. But it’s slated to set at 1:30 a.m., leaving the night sky dark — and ripe for seeing meteors.

Taurus the Bull is the namesake for this shower, because it appears to radiate from the constellation. “Every year in late October and early November … Earth passes through a river of space dust associated with Comet Encke. Tiny grains hit our atmosphere at 65,000 miles per hour,” David Asher of the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland told Science@NASA in 2005. “At that speed, even a tiny smidgen of dust makes a vivid streak of light — a meteor — when it disintegrates.”

Those in the Northern hemisphere have better viewing option than those in the Southern because Taurus the Bull rises higher in the sky, according to EarthSky.

Wherever you are, find a dark spot and watch for yellowish-orange balls moving slowly across the sky. Just make sure you’re not staring at an airplane. 

MORE: The Best Videos of the Day


Featured Blogs

Tropical Storm Neoguri Hits Japan; NOAA Holds Summer El Niño Odds at 70%

By Dr. Jeff Masters
July 10, 2014

Tropical Storm Neoguri made landfall near the city of Akune in southwest Japan's Kagoshima Prefecture on the island of Kyushu just before 7 a.m. Japanese time Thursday. Once a mighty super typhoon with 155 mph winds, the Japan Meteorological Agency estimated that Neoguri weakened to maximum 10-minute sustained winds of 60 mph at landfall.

Warmest Days of the Year for the U.S.

By Christopher C. Burt
July 9, 2014

NOAA recently produced an interesting map showing when the hottest day of the year is likely to occur in the contiguous U.S. Complimenting this map is one produced by Brian Brettschneider of Borealis Scientific, LLC, which illustrates the date of summer’s midpoint (peak of summer average temperatures) which was reproduced in my blog posted last August. Brian has also produced maps of such for the Fall, Winter and Spring seasons. There is also some other great material from Brian herein.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.