How to look at November’s weekend meteor showers.


A meteor throughout the peak of the 2009 Leonid meteor bathe. The reveals the meteor, afterglow, and wake as distinct parts.

Soerfm/Wikimedia Commons

Late fall is often the final alternative to spend a number of hours outdoors at night time with out dropping feeling in your extremities. You ought to benefit from this opportunity and watch the 2 main meteor showers on the way in which for the month: the Taurids and the Leonids.

The Taurids, that are brought on by particles kicked off by the Comet Encke, will peak on Friday and Saturday. Although the moon goes to be waning throughout its final quarter, there ought to nonetheless be an ample quantity of darkness for the Taurids to be seen, particularly round midnight.

The Taurids take their title from the constellation Taurus, from which the taking pictures stars seem to emanate. The bull-shaped constellation is Orion’s neighbor, so in the event you’ve received a way of the place to search out Orion or the three well-known belt stars, attempt to stick your eye on that constellation first. Then, search for Taurus’ V-shaped cluster of stars, that are referred to as the Hyades, and from there you need to have a spotlight for the middle of the constellation.

You ought to be capable to see between 5 and 7 meteors streaking by means of the sky each hour. That’s definitely a slower price than many different showers, however that modesty is balanced by the brightness—there will likely be some intense fireballs, a kind of very vivid meteor.

If you miss these, worry not: The Leonids present up one week later, peaking on Nov. 17. The moon will likely be out of sight, which suggests the taking pictures stars received’t be competing with another celestial lights. That’s notably good for this 12 months, for the reason that Leonids aren’t anticipated to rain down like a storm as they often have up to now (1966 anybody?)

The Leonids, as you would possibly predict, could be noticed streaming out of the constellation Leo. In the autumn, look towards the jap sky, and search for a sample of vivid lights making up the form of a backward query mark. The backside is a star referred to as Regulus, which ought to information you to the remainder of the constellation.

The supply of the Leonids is Comet Tempel-Tuttle. You ought to count on to see about 10 to 15 meteors zooming by means of the sky per hour when the Leonids peak round three a.m. native time.

The greatest solution to watch each meteor showers is, as all the time, to discover a spot within the countryside or much less crowded suburbs. You’ll have a tough time watching both of those spectacles within the metropolis, particularly with the moon out for the Taurids and a fainter model of the Leonids rolling round this 12 months. If you’re having bother determining the place to look in sky for the taking pictures stars, obtain a constellation app in your smartphone that will help you out.

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