Fiery Meteors Are Streaking in Night Sky
Many night observers have been noticing the Northern Lights, which have been active this week. However, we're also noticing some shooting stars, and we'll continue to have opportunities to see them, if the skies are clear.
Wednesday night, observers noticed some bright meteors, which are part of a little-publicized shower called the Southern Taurids. The show is expected to peak late Thursday night into Friday morning, but the "peak" is only a few meteors each hour. NASA reports that there are some bright fireballs usually with this shower, which is a cluster of leftover debris from Comet 2P/Encke. It lasts until November 20, but it's not very active - recent estimates are five per hour. An associated shower, the North Taurids, are also causing some streaks until December10th.
Then, there's the more familiar Leonids meteor shower. It starts this weekend and the peak is expected on November 16-17, though the shower lasts until end of the month. This one is associated with Comet 55P/Temple-Tuttle, according to EarthSky.org. The moon will be bright during the peak, unfortunately.
The Moon has its own little show this month with a nearly total Lunar Eclipse November 18-19. I had to include both days because in Montana, the eclipse happens around midnight.
The moon will turn red as the Earth comes between it and the Sun. That will start about 11 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, and the maximum redness will be about 2 a.m. Friday, Nov.19, when only 3 percent of the moon will not be completely eclipsed. Everything returns to normal brightness at around 5 a.m. Oh, how about those Northern Lights? Check this out. Great images!