October is a month full of night sky events to enjoy. Three meteor showers will reach their peak this month, and two of those will take place this week. Yesterday’s Draconids will be swiftly followed by the Southern Taurids peaking tonight, while the Orionids are coming later in the month.
How to see tonight’s Southern Taurid meteor shower:
Wednesday night Southern Taurids: Broad peak of 5/hour, but brings fireballs
Wednesday, October 9 coincides with the peak of the Southern Taurid meteor shower.
However, given the proximity to the previous day’s Draconids, there will most likely be an overlap with the meteor showers.
Stargazers will consequently probably see meteors from both showers tonight.
The Moon will unfortunately wash out many of the meteors.
Meteor shower 2019: The Southern Taurids are peaking tonight
But, as the American Meteor Society notes, the Southern Taurids will have a better chance of being seen during tonight’s peak.
This is because tonight the Southern Taurids tend to produce bright fireballs capable of competing with the Moon’s luminous light.
Fireballs are what you would expect them to be.
There brightness makes them far more noticeable than the average meteor and usually produce a better shooting star show.
The Southern Taurids are expected to produce roughly the same number of meteors per hour as the Draconids.
The Southern Taurid meteor shower will last until November, averaging about five meteors per hour.
The Full Moon is expected to initially interfere with the light from these meteors.
But the New Moon later this month will provide dark skies to showcase the occasional fireball.
Catch these when the Taurus constellation is high in the sky, according to NASA.
The Southern Taurid meteor shower is caused by debris from Comet 2P/Encke.
However, those unable to get the opportunity to catch the Southern Taurid shower need not worry.
The Orionids are arriving later in the month and will put on a better show than either of October’s shooting star displays.
How to watch a meteor show:
The best way to view the meteor shower is by sitting in a reclining chair or lying on your back and looking up at the sky with a wide view.
No special equipment is required, but if you want the best view, it helps to be as far from artificial light as possible.
Those living in urban areas may wish to avoid city lights as much as possible, which can make the meteor shower seem faint.
It could also be an idea to grab a camera before heading out.
Meteor showers are a great opportunity for time-lapse videos and long-exposure photography.