NASA scientists have predicted that the annual Taurid meteor shower is about to put on a once-in-a-decade event, known as the Taurid meteor swarm.
That means that over the next week and a half, we’re expected to see frequent meteors – extremely bright fireballs – lighting up the night sky. The last time we saw such a swarm from the Taurids was in 2005, so this will be exciting and you definitely don’t want to miss it!
Every year beginning in September through December these spectacular fireballs stream through the night sky, putting on a stunning show! These Fireballs are extremely bright and according to the International Astronomical Union, they are “brighter than any of the planets.”
“Unlike most meteors, the Taurids are not fast,” the American Meteor Society said. “The fireball class meteors are usually vividly colored and may fragment before they completely disintegrate.”
The meteors that make up the Taurid meteor shower are attributed to far-flung debris, which consists of dust and ice left behind by the tail of Encke Comet 2P. As the comet orbits the sun, the Earth ploughs through the comet debris, and then the meteors — popularly known as “shooting stars” — are produced when the debris enters and burns up in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. The results are a stream of vaporizing, slow-moving meteors traveling at 28 km/17 miles per second. Because the Taurids have larger fragments of debris than other comets, they produce bigger and brighter fireballs. The best part is, they last longer!
And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke -Acts 2:19 (KJV).
The Taurid meteor shower is also fascinating because scientists now believe that the debris trail may not only be coming from Comet Encke, but potentially from the disintegration of a much larger comet, which left Encke and other rubble in its wake.
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. -Colossians 1:16-17 (KJV).
A Grand Fireball Year
This year is expected to be a particularly active year for Taurid meteors.
The Taurids this year are expected to gleam even brighter due to the phasing of the waning crescent moon, meaning the brightness of the moon will get less and less intrusive as we approach the Taurids peak. On the morning of Nov. 5, the moon will not rise until after 12:30 a.m. local time, which means the sky will be darker. As the moon gets progressively thinner and rises progressively later on each successive morning, it will create a perfect dark and moonless backdrop, making the meteors dramatically brighter.
Another reason this years Taurid Fireballs will be even more special is because it is in what is known as the cycle of the “swarm year.” Meteor expert David Asher discovered the cycle and reported that every seven -ten years, the Earth passes through an especially rich portion of the debris field resulting in unusually brighter and higher rates of fireballs, known as the Taurid Swarm. The last swarm cycle was in 2005, and we are especially blessed because 2015 is the predicted year of the next grand display, or swarm. During regular occurrences, the celestial event is known as the Taurid meteor shower.
During the last swarm, fireballs as bright as the full moon were witnessed. Now if only the weather would cooperate, we will be in for one bright celestial performance.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. -John 1:3 (KJV).
There are Two Taurid Streams
Space.com reports that the Taurids are divided into the Northern Taurids and the Southern Taurids. The fireballs are named Taurid showers because they appear to come from Taurus, the Bull constellation.
The two streams broke off from the comet at slightly different times and therefore have different orbits. That means we’re in for a week and a half straight of good viewing days!
The radiant or apparent radiant of a meteor shower is the point in the sky from which meteors appear to originate. The southern radiant most active on Nov. 5 and the northern radiant most active on Nov. 12. Both cross the southern meridian and are highest in the sky about midnight. The two radiants lie just south of the Pleiades — a cluster of stars in the constellation Taurus.
…”Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, Or loose the cords of Orion?” Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, And guide the Bear with her satellites? “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, Or fix their rule over the earth?…- Job 38:31-33 (KJV).
Taurid Sightings Reported Already
The taurid fireballs are already garnering nationwide attention,and rightfully so, they are spectacular! According to The American Meteor Society and the International Meteor Association, over 60 reports were submitted after the first recorded fireball was spotted over the Eastern Poland sky on Saturday, October 31st 2015 around 18:05UT. This great ball of fire was so bright it was seen all the way in the Netherlands and Austria.
Reports described it as “a bright light in the sky.”
There’ve also been reports coming in from Tuscon, Arizona. NO video unfortunately. And, many News 9 viewers reported seeing a fireball over New Hampshire.
If you see one of these bright beauties, consider filing a report with the American Meteor Society, a group that encourages the study of meteors and tracks meteor activity. The society’s fireball log also lets you check to see where other sightings are coming from and whether anyone else saw the same one you did.
Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee – Nehemiah 9:6 (KJV).
Best Times to View the Shower
To see the meteor shower, your best bet is to look towards the Taurus constellation, where it originates from. You can find out where that is, and when it’s going to be highest in the sky for prime watching, using the free Star Chart app (Android or iPhone).
The first two weeks of November are prime time for spotting the fiery fun. The best viewing time is after midnight, and perfect conditions are clear nights with no moonlight, but remember these are fiercely bright fireballs we are talking about, so a little moonlight will not hinder them!
The South Taurids should produce the greatest number of meteors – and hence their greatest number of fireballs – between midnight and dawn on November 5, 2015. Try watching on the morning of November 4, too, and even on the mornings before that. The fireballs will be flying, and as many as seven meteors per hour are expected, according to Space.com.
The Taurid meteor shower is expected to last through the end of November (possibly into December), but the best viewing times are during their peak. The south Taurid meteor shower hits its peak on November 5 and 6, with the north Taurid peaking on November 11 and 12.
Late night November 4 until dawn November 5, 2015, the South Taurids
The meteoroid streams that feed the South (and North) Taurids are very spread out and diffuse. That means the Taurids are extremely long-lasting (September 25 to November 25) but usually don’t offer more than about 7 meteors per hour. That is true even on the South Taurids’ expected peak night.
The South Taurids should produce their greatest number of meteors in the wee hours – between midnight and dawn – on November 5. Remember, it’ll be possible to catch a fireball or two!
Late night November 12 until dawn November 13, 2015, the North Taurids
Like the South Taurids, the North Taurids meteor shower is long-lasting (October 12 – December 2) but modest, and the peak number is forecast at about 7 meteors per hour. The North and South Taurids combine, however, to provide a nice sprinkling of meteors throughout October and November. Typically, you see the maximum numbers at around midnight, when Taurus the Bull is highest in the sky.
“The annual Taurid meteor shower is going on right now, and we are seeing steady activity in our meteor cameras,” said Bill Cooke, head of the NASA Meteoroid Environments Office. “Individuals should not be surprised if they see a bright meteor or fireball over the next few nights.”
At night, the meteors will streak upwards from the eastern sky. In the morning, the fireballs will move up from the western sky.
While taurids don’t wow with sheer numbers, they sure make up for it in their long-lasting streams. Taurids rapidly appear as a brilliant ball of light that stretches itself into a slow-motion streak, as if it were painted in a long stroke down the midnight sky. Their grand finale is a dramatic burst into a radiant fireball just before disintegrating into thin air. According to NASA, it takes only a pebble-size fragment to create these awesome-looking fireballs.
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork -Psalm 19:1 (KJV).
33 I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.-Psalm 104:33(KJV).
What a spectacular performance it will be to watch the blazing taurids appear in the midst of a little pack of stars, sliding lazily through the night sky. I can hardly wait! There will be another chance later this month to see bright streaks in the sky when the Leonid meteor shower also kicks in. The much stronger Leonid shower is expected to peak around Nov. 17.
So if you see one just remember, It’s not the apocalypse raining down on us. It is your Heavenly Father revealing his wonderous and glorious handiwork, fireworks from heaven.
In the Faithful Service of Jesus Christ,
Join us at: He Is Coming -Are You Ready?
Jesus Christ was born, lived, died, and rose again for the sole purpose of saving us from our sins. Are you saved? The bible declares that “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13 (KJV). Salvation is turning your life over to Jesus Christ, believing that Jesus is the son of God, and renewing your mind with his spirit, that is done through repentance of sin, and following JESUS with all your heart, mind and soul. JESUS transforms lives, if you are ready for this life saving step, call upon your savior TODAY! Learn more here.
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.- Joel 2:30 (KJV).
And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. -Luke 21:11 (KJV).
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; -Luke 21:25 (KJV).
Get Inspired, Learn the Scriptures that Teach About the Stars
Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:- Amos 5:8 (KJV).
There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. -1 Corinthians 15:41 (KJV).
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. – Genesis 1:14 (KJV).
Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth – Isaiah 40:26 (KJV).
I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded -Isaiah 45:2 (KJV).
Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars. Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea. Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south. Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number – Job 9:9-10 (KJV).
“The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof. By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. “Lo, these are parts of his ways … (Job 26:11,13-14).
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; – Psalm 8:3 (KJV).
He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by theirnames. -Psalm 147:4 (KJV).
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse – Romans 1:20 (KJV).