As the fall goes speeding toward winter, the holiday season, and a new year, let’s take some time to enjoy what November has to offer. In addition to Thanksgiving, and all of the delicious food that entails, November is a great time for sky watching.
November also brings some major meteor showers, the Taurids and the Leonids.
The Taurids are actually two annual meteor showers created by the comet Encke. They are named for constellation Taurus, where they are seen to come from in the sky. The Southern Taurids last from about September 10th to November 20th, peaking around November 2-4, while the Northern Taurids last from about October 20th to December 10th, peaking from November 12-14th.
These showers can be tough to see if they’re conflicting with a bright Moon. Look for the constellation Taurus high in the southern sky.
The Leonid meteor shower, named for the constellation Leo, occurs from November 10th to November 20th each year, peaking around November 17th and 18th. Typically one of the most exciting showers of the year, the Leonids produce an average of 20 to 30 meteors per hour. Look to the southeast in the hours just before dawn.