Southern Taurid meteor shower Wednesday, Oct. 9 into Thursday, Oct 10


The Southern Taurids are a minor shower with fewer than 10 meteors per hour, but don’t let the slim numbers discourage you.

“The Taurids are rich in fireballs,” the American Meteor Society said on their website.

Fireballs are meteors that appear incredibly bright as they streak through the sky. They can be so bright that they can cast shadows on the ground for several seconds.

If you miss these meteor showers you do not have to wait long for another opportunity to spot some shooting stars. The Orionid meteor shower peaks later this month on the night of Oct. 21 into Oct. 22 and usually brings around 20 meteors per hour.

Where to look in the sky during a meteor shower

One of the biggest misconceptions with meteor showers is that you need to look in a certain part of the sky to see shooting stars, when the opposite is true.

During the peak of a meteor shower, meteors are visible in all areas of the sky, not just near the radiant point.

As is always the case, the best way to view meteors is far from city lights with a wide view of the sky. Unfortunately, the ski will be lit by the moon through much of the night, making fainter meteors hard to see.

Laying down and looking up is probably the best bet.  You can look towards the radiant point for the showers – this is where they seem to “radiate from”,  but really the meteors can occur anywhere in the sky so the broad view of the sky is the best.

Although you do not need to look at the radiant point, its location in the sky is still important. The higher the radiant point is in the sky, the greater number of meteors will be visible.

Knowing where the radiant point of the  Southern Taurids will also help onlookers know the origin of meteor they have seen. If you see a shooting star and trace it backward, it will point toward the shower’s radiant point.

About Kevin

Councilmember - City of Oakley, Manager of Mainframe Operations and Optimization – USS-POSCO INDUSTRIES, Co-Founder and Board Member - Friends of Oakley A Community Foundation, Commissioner - Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Board Member - Tri Delta Transit, Transplan, San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority and RD 2137, Advisory Board – Opportunity Junction
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