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Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Taurid Meteor Shower (5-6 November 2008)

The Eastern horizon as seen from Australia at midnight, Wednesday November 5.

Tonight (Wednesday 5th November) , is the peak of the Taurid Meteor shower. The Taurids are linked to debris from comet 2P/Enke, and roughly every 3 years there is an outburst as Earths orbit intersects the debris cloud. This year Earth brushes the edges of the cloud, and it is possible that there may be heightened meteor activity. As the Taurids are relatively weak, this mean that we could possibly see one meteor every 5 minutes of so (rather than one every 15 minutes).

The Taurids are relatively bright, so there is a chance we could see some nice fireballs. The best time to observe the Taurids is from around midnight on the 5th until the early morning of Thursday the 6th. The Taurids radiant, the part of the sky where they will apparently originate from, is just above the inverted V of the Hyades (see chart, click on it to enlarge)


I don't know if it was officially a part of the Taurid shower, but I saw a beautiful fireball the night of Nov 1 around 0300 Eastern time in Ohio. It was in the north sky a bit below the elevation of Polaris and moved east to west on a mild down slope. It was very bright with a long trail, and had a greenish color predominating. It appeared to come from the general neighborhood of the radiant you've illustrated.
I live in Utah. I happened to see two impressive meteors, both green, also fairly high in the northern hemisphere, which seemed to start just north of my zenith, and fall North, North West. They fell within about five minutes of each other. 45 minutes later, I've only seen a few small streaks. The second of the two was more impressive, and seemed to end with an explosion - much like a firework, though of course there was no report to be heard. I have never seen that before in all the meteors I've watched.
Early this morning, I saw another one of these green fireballs. At about 4 AM at about 20 degrees off the northwestern horizon a huge green metoer fell in New York. The flash was so bright It woke me up from a sound sleep in time to catch the rest of its descent. Wow!
Hot dog! Saw another beauty last night around 0125 Eastern, just before the clouds rolled in over Ohio.
Sounds fantastic folks! I envy you. Here it has been cloud, cloud, cloud, with no useful rain to go with it (so the drought continues on).
I live in Louisiana and November 8, me and my cousin saw a "falling star" which turned out to be a meteor! It was amazing! Something I will never forget!!!! It occured around 11:00 Central.
I saw three fireballs tonight driving South West from Jonesboro Arkansas between 8:00 and 9:00 PM Central Time. Stunning!
Man, those reports make we wish I was there with you. Thanks for all the info folks!
My friend and I saw, what I think was a Taurid, early on November 7th, about 12:30 am that morning. We were headed south on Interstate 71, between the cities of Strongsville and Brunswick. This is the first time I'd ever seen a shooting star, so it scared me. My friend and I both yelled, then asked each other "Was that a shooting star?" My first reaction when I saw it was "Is a helicopter crashing?" but then it disappeared, so I knew it had to be a shooting star. Thank you for posting this information, it is very interesting and it helped me to understand what I saw!!
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http://www.realclearwx.com/1108meteors.htm has several pictures of Taurid Meteors over the last week!
i live in Highland Utah and saw 3 fire balls that looked closer then the usual shooting star tonight. The first were around 8:20 pm MST. I was looking north towards lone peak. It looked as if it went behind the mt and should have impacted. The other two were with in 30 sec of each other. This time I was driving south on I-15 in Lehi at about 12:10 AM MST one was south and horizontal the other was more vertical and to the west.
Ah, ha. So I am not seeing things. My son & I both saw the fireballs the first week in Nov. We are in Georgia USA. What a surprise! Also I saw another one tonight (19-11). Will look for more before bedtime! D
My son and I saw a large pale green meteor in the southern sky low in the horizon at 6:00p.m Central on Nov. 20th in Southern Arkansas.
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