Mid-October through December is a busy time for meteors. Check out some of the more popular meteor showers listed here. Mark the dates on your calendar and see for yourself if you can watch a meteor show this fall.
In October, you can view the Orionids- which traditionally have maximum activity around October 21/22.
In November there are the Taurids (both North and South) and the Leonids.
Maximum activity for South Taurids is November 5 & 6 and November 11 & 12 for North Taurids.
The Leonids of mid-November can often be seen during their maximum activity which normally occurs around November 17-19.
In December, there are the Geminids, with maximum activity around December 13, 14, and the often-overlooked Ursids, which complete the year’s activity, reaching maximum on December 22, 23.
Meteors, more commonly referred to as “falling” or “shooting” stars, are metallic or stony particles which become visible when they plunge through our atmosphere. Though 100 million or more strike our atmosphere every 24 hours, those larger than dust particles are usually vaporized long before they can ever get close to the Earth’s surface. The average meteor is estimated to weigh 0.0005 ounce.
Meteors may be seen on almost any clear night, though they are more common in the hours after midnight. A single observer, far from bright lights with an unobstructed view of the sky, can usually see about 6 or 7 per hour. When the Earth’s orbit intersects a meteor stream, a meteor “shower” is said to be in progress.