What Time Is The Taurids Meteor Shower 2017? Here's When To Look Up
There's nothing like a night under the stars. It's the perfect opportunity to gather your loved ones, your favorite blanket, a few snacks, and get settled in for a night of memory making and unregulated joy. And of course, the perfect complement to a night like that is a meteor shower. We're all in luck, because it's almost time for the annual Taurids meteor shower. I know what you're thinking: What time is the Taurids meteor shower?
But before we get into the exact timing, maybe we should cover the basics. After all, we can't have you attending an epic meteor watch party without knowing your facts. A brief background on meteors: meteors are parts of matter (not necessarily space trash, but similar) that begin to burn once they enter the atmosphere. This is the reason many do not make it to the ground; they've already burned by the time the arrive. According to Space.com, Taurid meteors are some of the largest ones, meaning that technically, one could make it to the ground (though it hasn't happened with this particular shower before). This shower is named for its place in the sky; the meteors you'll be seeing will be look to be coming from the direction of the constellation Taurus. The shower originates from a comet called Encke, and once it travels through the sky, debris and matter breaks off which becomes the meteor showers we see in the sky. So, yeah, meteors are kind of literally space junk.
When Is The Taurids Shower?
The Taurids meteor shower is set to take place strongest over the weekend of Nov. 10 and 11, 2017, which means you have one week till showtime, people. As far as particular watch times, it gets a little more complicated. Scientists who spoke to Space.com agree that the best times to watch the shower is just before morning (so about 4 to 5 a.m.). But even then it gets a bit more complicated. Scientists also warn that in order to actually see some of the meteors, you should be in a dark place that is relatively open. Meaning, no streetlights, car lights, flashlights, etc. Sorry in advance to anyone who lives in a bright and bustling city. Be one with the night, and it just might get you somewhere.
What Will You See?
The most crucial item for a Taurids meteor shower watch party? Patience, my friends. Patience. The Taurid Meteor shower isn't the most meteor-heavy shower you can watch. Space.com even explains that at the highest meteor-per-hour time, you can only expect to see a few meteors. But, apparently, it's worth it, because these meteors are often larger, and therefore brighter, than meteors in other showers.
How Should You Prepare?
Unfortunately, this isn't a step-outside-and-look-up kind of meteor. On the bright side, it's also not a solar eclipse situation where you risk burning your retinas, so no special equipment is needed. All you really need is yourself, some good company, and a patient attitude.
To prepare to see the Taurids meteor shower, you should decide on a watch location that will bode well for several hours of careful watching and provide you with optimal viewing ability. Avoid too much light, and if you can avoid it in general, seek open spaces without light at all. You'll want to start by locating the Taurus constellation in the sky, and from there, look at stars near it to watch for soaring meteors. If you have just the right luck, you may be able to catch a few brilliant meteors in action.
That's the skinny on the Taurids Meteor shower. How will you and your space squad be watching?