“Halloween Fireballs” Still Active – Look Out!

Photo by Michał Mancewicz on Unsplash

“Halloween Fireballs” Still Active – Look Out!

The annual Taurid meteor shower, which is often referred to as the Halloween fireballs, appears to have increased activity this year. According to the information available on spaceweather.com, every three to seven years the Taurid showers tend to exhibit increased activity, this is often referred to as the Taurid swarm. The last such event was in 2015. As a result, 2022 is likely to also see an increased number of meteors.

The Taurid usually occurs between September 10th and November 20th, but they tend to peak around October. This year, November 5th marked the most meteor activity so far. The name of this particular phenomenon is derived from the Taurus constellation, which is where these meteors appear to be coming from.

Mark Gallaway, an astronomer and science educator at the University of Hertfordshire’s Bayfordbury Observatory, said in an interview with Newsweek that meteors are generally small particles of dust and grit. These tend to float around the solar system, but as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere, the friction causes them to heat up. Their normal speed is around 44 miles per second.

Gallaway also added that the light seen usually occurs after a meteor disintegrates.
What is particularly interesting about the Taurids is that they consist of two separate overlapping showers, which tend to have two different sources.

Sara Webb, an astrophysicist at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, has said that the southern Taurids were the result of a comet called Encke, and the northern Taurids were the result of the remnants of asteroid 2004 TG.

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