A remarkably spectacular display of fireballs in the form of a meteor shower is expected this week. It is the Taurid phenomenon in the night sky and enthusiasts will be looking forward to observing the spectacle at the time of its occurrence.
The very sight of fireballs in the night sky might make many start to go haywire. But the main message is to relax since it is not a case of space invaders or deadly meteors.
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Rather, what you will see within the next few day’s duration is termed a Taurid meteor shower. The number of night visions are limited yet the fireballs you will witness are a regular part of this astronomical phenomenon.
Basically the fireballs are highly luminescent meteors. From two to ten meteors will appear within the time span of an hour. The sight occurs between October and November. North America is the venue where you will get to view this beautiful and mystifying panorama of lights.
A bright Taurid fireball recorded by the NASA All Sky Fireball Network station in Tullahoma, Tennessee in 2014.
“The annual Taurid meteor shower is going on right now, and we are seeing steady activity in our meteor cameras,” Bill Cooke, lead for the NASA Meteoroid Environments Office, said in a statment. “Individuals should not be surprised if they see a bright meteor or fireball over the next few nights.”
The frequency of the fireballs will be at its peak during the period from November 5th to 12th. At present the Taurids will be especially visible due to the absence of a full moon which only obstructs the view.
A bright Taurid fireball recorded by the NASA All Sky Fireball Network station in Cartersville, Georgia in 2012.
The various cameras and telescopes have their directions set towards the phenomenon. The Taurid meteor shower has already partially begun. Ahead of us in the next couple of days, the activity will increase and it will be a visual display that will elicit the word “fabulous” from anyone’s lips. The phenomenon consists of the North Taurids and the South Taurids.
Both meteor showers arise from the region that is termed the constellation Taurus (The Bull). The ideal time at which you should be gazing at the night sky is after midnight. That is when the whole firmament presents a picture of crystal clarity.
Most of the fireballs in the Taurid meteor shower come from dust and ice flotsam and jetsam that wore off the comet Encke. This comet circles the sun. As many of the meteors pass through the earth’s atmosphere, they burn out in a flash of glory.
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The result is the sight of the fiery fireballs which are quite an image to admire in wonderment. Later on during the current month, the Leonid meteor shower will take place too. The date for this phenomenon will be around November 17th.