Northern Taurid Meteors

7x50 Binoculars

7×50 Binoculars

   Given all the ‘fanfare’ to annual meteor showers like the Perseids in August often the annual minor meteor showers are overlooked. Currently we are more or less at the mid-point during the Northern Taurid Meteor Shower. This meteor shower peaks during the coming night hours tonight and into tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. With a ZHR (zenith hourly rate) of only 5 don’t expect a lot of shooting stars. However this minor meteor shower has, in the past, had an outburst of fast meteors and some fireballs.
Click on graphic to see it full size.

Click on graphic to see it full size.

   All meteor showers are named for the constellation that they appear to radiate outward from. The common point within the constellation where the meteors radiate outward from is called the radiant. The Northern Taurids radiant is very close to the open star cluster the Pleiades in Taurus the Bull as the animated graphic above shows. This part of the sky rises during mid-evening local time however the waxing gibbous Moon is over the southern horizon and brightening the sky. The best viewing time will be at or after moonset which is around 2 am local time. This graphic is set for 5 am CST, well after moonset.

   
   
Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

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