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A Meteor Shower Is Peaking This Halloween, So Look Out For 'Fireballs' That Light Up The Night Sky

A Meteor Shower Is Peaking This Halloween, So Look Out For 'Fireballs' That Light Up The Night Sky

Luminary-like fireballs could be visible in the night skies this Halloween as the Taurid meteor shower peaks in our favorite time of the night.

The moon is still in its young waxing phase and ready to set shortly after sunset this weekend, making it the perfect set up for clear and dark skies. And what might we be expecting to see, you ask? Well, nothing less than a spectacular show of sparkling bright shooting stars this Halloween and right after. Yes, there are gonna be some 'fireballs' in the sky late at night. 

What you will witness is not dozens of shooting stars arriving in every which way, but rather, some of the longest, and most lingering and luminous shooting stars of all time.

That's right, the Taurid meteor shower is ready to peak over the night sky next week. As the moon goes down this weekend, do get your telescopes and high powered cameras ready to roll and pointed right up at the clear dark skies that await this sparkling show. 



 

 

The Taurid meteors will arrive in two showers - the Southern Taurids and Northern Taurids. The Southern Taurids are due to the debris left behind by Encke's comet and the Northern Taurids are speculated to be of asteroid 2004 TG10.

Forbes report that even the Northern Taurids could possibly be of Encke's comet with the two showers being separated by the massive effect of Jupiter's gravity. The second and third peak of the Southern Taurids will take place on November 1st and November 15th respectively, with the Northern Taurids peaking on November 3rd. 



 

 

So the two weeks after Halloween, with the moon slowly building to a full one on November 12th is going to be epic! Please remember that both the meteor showers will peak at their maximum intensity in the darkest of moonless skies after midnight.

The shooting stars will appear to emerge from the constellation of Taurus, and with the moon in its infancy this weekend, it would be a good time for you to witness a lovely falling star or two when you're stargazing in the deep of the night. 



 

 

The American Meteor Society (AMS) reports that Southern and Northern Taurid meteors have an entry velocity of 28 km/second, which is very slow. That ought to make some of it shooting stars long, lingering events that last around a second, much longer than most shooting stars.

“The Taurids are not known for their high numbers, rather they are known more for the fireballs they produce,” reads the latest updates by Bob Lunsford on the American Meteor Society’s website. 



 

 

The term 'fireball' is pretty well-defined here in the case of the Taurids. They are basically meteors that are brighter than everything in the sky, with the exception of the sun and moon of course.

There are only a few that will be of 'fireball' category of course, but you don't want to miss it as the next time they pop out may only be in 2022. The AMS, however, reassured us that  “Taurid fireballs occur every year … they are also known to fragment before totally disintegrating, Taurid fireballs can also be colorful with orange being the most common color associated with these meteors.”

So patience and perseverance is the name of the game! Get outside, find a spot to get a clear view of the dark sky and you might just witness the magic around midnight. 



 

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