Meteor Shower | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Meteor Shower

 

There is a new moon on November 15! And, if the sky is clear over the next week or so, the dark sky should make for good conditions to see falling stars.     

The Northern Taurids Meteor Shower began on October 20 and runs until December 10. It is not one of the more well-known meteor showers, producing maybe 5-10 meteors per hour.  It peaked on the evening of the 11th and early morning hours of the 12th, but there is still more to see. And the Northern Taurids are known to occasionally produce some unusually showy displays.


  If you have been seeing some falling stars in the last few days it is probably because we are into perhaps the best meteor shower of the year.  The earth is passing through the debris field of comet Swift-Tuttle from about July 17 to August 24.  

Catch a Falling Star

Jul 11, 2020

 

Oh how we love these warm summer nights.  And if you enjoy watching falling stars, you should be in for a treat over the next few weeks.  The Delta Aquarids and Perseids meteor showers are coming soon.  So it is time to find a dark location and do a little sky watching for a few evenings.  

The Geminids are here! Yes, the granddaddy of all meteor showers began on the seventh and will continue through the seventeenth. And the peak viewing period this year is on the evening of the 13th and early morning hours of the 14th. If the sky is clear there should be good viewing through the seventeenth.

We are coming up on the peak viewing period for a meteor shower. The Orionid meteor shower occurs every fall as the earth passes through the debris field of Halley’s Comet. The earth entered the debris field around October 2 and will continue through it until November 7. The peak of this meteor shower will be the night of October 21 and early morning hours of October 22. We will be in a second quarter moon at that time, so we may not be able to see some of the fainter meteors, but overall viewing should be good. Around twenty meteors per hour may be visible if the sky is clear.

Each year from November 6-30 the earth passes through the debris field of comet Tempel-Tuttle, or what we call the Leonids Meteor Shower. This year the peak viewing period is the evening of Saturday, November 17, and early morning hours of November 18. The number of meteor showers during the peak viewing period is expected to be around 15 meteors per hour.