The Taurids are an annual meteor shower comprised of two separate events unfolding around the same time. The Southern Taurids arrive first in early September and scatter shooting stars up until the last week or so of November. Then, towards the end of October, the Northern Taurids grace the sky, producing light showers until early December.
In both cases, however, the showers appear to enter the skies from near the constellation of Taurus the Bull.
As a result, the Taurids share a name and are often considered to be one prolonged event.
The Southern Taurids peaked last month on the night of October 10, firing off up to five meteors every hour.
And the good news is the Northern Taurids are yet to peak and will be best seen next week.
The Southern Taurids, which are first to arrive each year, are associated with a field of debris left behind Comet Encke.
The Northern Taurids, on the other hand, are a bit of a mystery as astronomers have linked this shower to Encke as well as the Asteroid 2004 TG10.
Whatever the case may be, the Northern Taurids appear to crash into our atmosphere from the constellation Taurus, which this time of the year rises in the eastern skies.
According to the Royal Observatory Greenwich in London, the Taurids are a relatively slower shower, moving across the sky at about 65,000mph.
The Royal Observatory estimates the shower’s peak – when it is most intense – will unfold on the night of November 10 to 11.
The Northern Taurids favour the Northern Hemisphere and are best seen in the early morning hours after midnight.
Bear in mind, however, the Taurids are not the flashiest of showers and only produce a handful of about five meteors every hour.
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On the night of the peak, the Moon will be past its Third Quarter phase, heading into a New Moon on November 15.
Astronomer Bruce McClure of EarthSky said: “Despite the sparse number of meteors from these overlapping showers, the percentage of fireballs is rather high, so a few
“The Taurids appear to have a seven-year cycle of bright fireballs, and 2015 was apparently a peak year.”
Once the Taurids are over, stay on the lookout for the Geminids – the most prolific shower of the year.
The Geminids will be active this year between December 4 and 17, with the peak falling on December 13 to 14.
The Royal Observatory said: “The shower has been known produce over 100 meteors per hour at its peak, although light pollution and other factors mean that in reality, the actual number visible is far less.”
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Meteor shower, Meteoroid, Taurids, Leonids, Night sky
World news – GB – Meteor shower in November: When is the Taurid meteor shower this year?