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 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

October 2014: Earth's Third Consecutive Warmest Month on Record

By Dr. Jeff Masters
November 21, 2014

October 2014 was the warmest October on record, and the year-to-date-period January - October was Earth's warmest such period since record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA. They also rated the past 12 months--November 2013 through October 2014--as the warmest consecutive 12-month period among all months since records began in 1880; 2014 will be the warmest calendar year on record if global temperatures in November and December merely match their average values recorded since 2000.

Greatest 24-hour Snowfall on Record for the U.S.?

By Christopher C. Burt
November 14, 2014

This past week some exceptional snowfall amounts were reported in northern Wisconsin (50.1” at Gile) and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (42.5” at Ishpeming 7 NNW) largely the result of some intense lake-effect snow squalls coming off Lake Superior. The accumulations occurred over approximately a 96-hour period from November 11-14. Amazing as these totals were they couldn’t compare to the official U.S. record of 75.8” at Silver Lake, Colorado in 24 hours on April 14-15, 1921, or another contender for such: the 78” at Mile 47 Camp in Alaska on February 7, 1963.UPDATE: An amazing 65" of snow, almost all, if not all, of this occurred between 10 p.m. Nov. 17 and 10 p.m. Nov. 18 at a site(s) just south and east of Buffalo. These snow depth reports are not 'official' but are obviously accurate given the video and photographic evidence.

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.