November 5, 2012

Taurid meteor shower – Earth is entering a debris from comet Encke

Every year in late October or early November, Earth passes through comet Encke’s wake, resulting in the well-known Taurid meteor shower.
Because of their occurrence in late October and early November, they are also called Halloween fireballs. They are named after their radiant point in the constellation Taurus, where they are seen to come from in the sky.

It is considered that this stream of matter, made up of pebbles instead of dust grains, is the largest in the inner solar system. Due to the stream’s size, the 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 commonly slow-moving meteors that blaze across the sky in pale orange colors. Typically, Taurids appear at a rate of about 7 per hour, moving slowly across the sky at about 27 km/s (17 mps ). Meteoroids the size of pebbles and small stones are producing a slow drizzle of very bright fireballs when entering Earth’s atmosphere. This year’s Taurid peak is expected during the nights of November 5-12.

By ChillyManjaro
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