Look for ‘Halloween Fireballs’ in the Taurid Meteor Shower tonight
Taurid’s Meteor Shower Will Delight Skywatchers Halloween night when it unleashes a swarm of fireballs in the night sky just days before reaching its peak later this week.
This squall consists of two streams: the southern Taurids peaking from November 4 to November 5; and the northern Taurians peaking between November 12 and November 13.
The pair of meteor showers is active throughout the night, with meteors from both events coming from the same part of the sky as the constellation Taurus, which lies northwest of Orion.
The meteors that will be visible tonight are called ‘Halloween fireballs’ and are best seen around midnight.
The Taurids haven’t been seen since 2015 (pictured) and NASA predicts this year’s stream is teeming with glowing fireballs that will violently rise through the atmosphere
Every year, starting at the end of October, the sky plays host to the meteor shower, also known as ‘nature fireworks’.
The Taurids view was created by debris left behind by Encke’s comet, named for the astronomer who discovered its annual trajectory in 1819.
Earth passes through a portion of the flow each year, and the meteors appear as shooting stars in the southern hemisphere sky in October each year and in the north in November.
The dust associated with the comet hits Earth’s atmosphere at 65,000 mph and burns, creating the Taurid meteor shower.
Bill Cooke, head of the NASA Meteoroid Environments Office, said in a: pronunciation: ‘The annual Taurid meteor shower is underway right now and we are seeing steady activity in our meteor cameras.
The Taurid shower consists of two streams: the southern Taurids peaking from November 4 to November 5; and the northern Taurians peaking between November 12 and November 13.
Fireballs have already appeared above the night sky. Photos are meteors over Liverpool
“Individuals should not be surprised if they see a bright meteor or fireball in the coming nights.”
Tauric meteors can be seen when the constellation Taurus is above the horizon during the months of September, October and November.
The best time to look for Taurides is after midnight, when Taurus is high in the sky and when the sky is dark and clear, with no moonlight to mask the fainter meteors.
Dennis Lifea postdoctoral researcher in meteor physics, predicts that there may be more than 100 million asteroids in the Taurid stream that Earth is currently passing through.
The Taurid shower has been visible in various parts of the world, with images and videos showing falling fireballs over the UK and the Czech Republic.
A 2017 study suggested that Taurid’s meteor shower could contain cosmic fragments of ice and rock large enough to wipe out entire continents.
And one of these fragments could hit Earth in 2022, 2025, 2032 or 2039, researchers predict.
Researchers from the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences have kept these fragments.
They have found two asteroids, named 2015 TX24 and 2005 UR, that are part of a previously undiscovered branch of the Taurid debris.
Earth passes through a portion of the flow each year, and the meteors appear as shooting stars in the southern hemisphere sky in October each year and in the north in November. This image was taken in the UK
Earth only passes through this potentially dangerous branch once every few years, creating more shooting stars.
Future encounters are predicted for 2022, 2025, 2032 and 2039.
The space rocks are 200 to 300 meters in diameter and are registered on the International Astronomical Union’s list of “potentially dangerous” asteroids.
But the Czech team is concerned that the field of hidden debris may contain even larger objects.
Writing in a paper published on ArxivThe study authors said: “Since asteroids measuring tens to hundreds of meters pose a threat to the ground, even if they are intrinsically weak, the impact hazard increases significantly when Earth encounters the new branch of Taurid every few years.
Further studies leading to a better description of this real source of potentially dangerous objects, which could be large enough to cause significant regional or even continental damage on the Earth, are therefore of great interest.’
#Halloween #Fireballs #Taurid #Meteor #Shower #tonight