Peak of Taurid meteor shower is Wednesday night, best time to view midnight to 3 am

By @vitthernandez on
Perseid Meteor Shower
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid meteor shower at the Maculje archaeological site near Novi Travnik in the early morning August 13, 2015. The annual Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak on August 12 and 13 in Europe, according to NASA. Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Spectacular fireballs lighting up the night sky, similar to what Thais witnessed on Nov 2, are still happening this week. Taurid meteor showers, due to the Earth passing through the tail of Comet Encke, are still expected.

In a Reddit AMA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) advised meteor shower observers that the best time to view the Taurids is from midnight to 3 am, local time. While Taurid rates are not high, sky watchers could expect a handful every hour.

NASA adds that the peak of the Taurid meteor shower would be on Wednesday evening, Nov 11. However, if the weather is okay, Monday and Tuesday nights are also good times to watch the meteor shower. To do that, no special equipment is needed - simply get far away from city lights.

Since the moon is new on Nov 11, there will be no moonlight to outshine the meteors. During peak hours, observers could expect to see between seven and 10 meteors an hour, says NASA. Its fireballs are as bright as Planet Venus. The last time there was a Taurid meteor shower was in 2005.

The meteor shower show is the result of Earth passing through the stream of residual dust and debris left in space by the passing comet. As the debris collides with Earth, it is pulled toward the planet’s centre by gravity and burns up in the atmosphere. The result is bright streaks in the night sky that people call “falling stars.”

According to Businessinsider, Taurid’s meteor shower collide with the Earth at 65,000 mph or less than 50 percent the speed of Perseid’s 133,000 mph. But the slower movement of Taurid’s meteor shower makes it easier to spot and follow it with naked eyes.

For 2015, Aplus reports that there are seven other meteor showers. These are the Quatranids in January, Lyrids in April, Eta Aquarids in mid-April to mid-May, Perseids in mid-August, Orionids in late October, Leonids in mid-November and Geminids in December, according to the American Meteor Society.

Contact the writer at feedback@ibtimes.com.au or tell us what you think below