The Northern Taurids meteor shower is set to peak tonight — the night of November 12, 2013 / morning of November 13, 2013. As with the Southern Taurids of last week, this certainly won’t be the most prolific meteor shower of the year, but it can be worth it if you have the time.
In contrast to the Southern Taurids though, the viewing conditions will be much worse tonight than they were last week. But, given that the Taurids occasionally produce slow, superbright fireballs, there’s still a good chance to see something interesting.
The best time to watch tonight will probably be sometime in the early morning hours, probably sometime shortly after Moonset — around 2-3am for those of us on the west coast. Those on the east coast will have to watch the peak while the Moon is still out — notably limiting the number of meteors that you’ll be able to see.
As we reported before: “As far as where to watch — the Taurids will appear to be originating from the southeastern portion of the night’s sky. The Taurids are only really visible to those in the Northern Hemisphere — those in the Southern Hemisphere might see one or two, but the show just isn’t that great for those down under.”
For information on the other great meteor showers of the year, including the upcoming Leonids, see: Meteor Showers 2013, Dates and Times, Geminids, Leonids, Perseids, Taurids, Ursids, Etc.
Some general tips for those that will be watching tonight:
• Find the darkest sky that you can, preferably far from city lights — dark, rural locations are ideal.
• Get comfortable — a reclining chair, warm clothes, blankets, pillows, etc.
• A cup of warm coffee or hot chocolate tends to make the experience more enjoyable.
Image Credit: Fireball via Flickr CC