Astronomy blog

Taurids May Swarm This Year; Aurora Outlook is Bright

By Dave Samuhel, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
11/01/2015, 6:51:13 AM

Just a quick note, we have recently posted pictures and videos of the astroid 2015 TB145 "Spooky" on the AccuWeather.com Astronomy Facebook page. Check them out.

Every year the earth passes through a stream left by Comet Encke, producing the Taurids meteor shower. This shower is notorious for producing fireballs. And, there are signs that this could be a year of enhanced activity.

I want to give a special shout out to AccuWeather.com's Al Blasko for a lot of help with research about the Tarurids.

Taurid fireball Friday night over Solvenia

According to a study completed by David Asher , the Taurids follow a cycle, and there are years when activity is enhanced. Usually the shower only produces 5-10 meteors per hour. But, they tend to be from debris that is larger than typical meteor particles. Therefore, fireballs are common with the Taurids. Fireballs are just very bright meteors, as bright or brighter than the planet Venus.


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There are actually two streams that produce the Taurids, so the point of origin is slighter different, making both the Northern and Southern Taurids. Between the two, Taurid meteors can be spotted from late September through early December.


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Even the peak of the Northern Taurids shower is a long, drawn out affair. The gradual peak of the shower is now through November 12th, with a possible absolute peak on the night of the 11-12th. But, Taurid fireballs can still be spotted into December.


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We will see improving conditions throughout the next week now that we are past the full moon. The moon will still be bright over the next few nights, but the new moon is on November 11th, just in time for the peak!

Latest U.S. Satellite Imagery


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The weather will be a bit of a problem over the next day or so. But, then most of the country should have clear skies fur much of next week. Also, the country will be extremely warm compared to average next week. So, you won't have to be too bundled up to enjoy the show!

Detroit forecast via AccuWeather.com

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STRONG SOLAR STORM POSSIBLE Of course we have more than just the Taurids going on! Check out the latest X-ray imagery form the sun. You see that dark spot near the middle of the sun?


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That is a coronal hole. It is the same hole that helped spark an impressive Aurora display in early October. (It has rotated completely around the sun to face Earth again)

Trondheim, Norway October 7th

It's not just the coronal hole. We have an active sunspot (AR 2443) rotating around toward a position facing earth. This sunspot has recently belted off a M-class flare.


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The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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