Taurids Meteor Shower

Published 11/12 2013 04:44PM

Updated 11/12 2013 05:03PM

November 12-14, 2013
November 12-14, 2013
The Taurids are an annual meteor shower associated with the comet Encke. They are named after their radiant point in the constellation Taurus, where they are seen to come from in the sky. Because of their occurrence in late October and early November, they are also called Halloween fireballs.

Encke and the Taurids are believed to be remnants of a much larger comet, which has disintegrated over the past 20,000 to 30,000 years, breaking into several pieces and releasing material by normal cometary activity or perhaps occasionally by close encounters with the tidal force of Earth or other planets. In total, this stream of matter is the largest in the inner solar system. Since the meteor stream is rather spread out in space, Earth takes several weeks to pass through it, causing an extended period of meteor activity, compared with the much smaller periods of activity in other showers. The Taurids are also made up of weightier material, pebbles instead of dust grains.

Typically, Taurids appear at a rate of about 5 per hour, moving slowly across the sky at about 17 miles per second (27 kilometers per second), or 65,000 miles per hour. If larger than a pebble, these meteors may become "bolides" as bright as the moon and leave behind smoke trails.

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Featured Coupon


Featured Business