Archive for November 6, 2018

11/06/2018 – Ephemeris – The Taurid meteor showers

November 6, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Election Day, Tuesday, November 6th. The Sun will rise at 7:27. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 57 minutes, setting at 5:24. The Moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 7:09 tomorrow morning.

We are in the midst of two showers of meteors that seen to come from the constellation of Taurus the bull. These are the Southern and Northern Taurids respectively. They only produce a handful of meteors per hour, but there seems to be some discrepancy in their peak dates. The International Meteor Organization has the Southern group peak October 10th. Other sources have it peak November 5th. The Northern group peaks on the 10th or 12th of November depending on the source. Anyway these are bits shed by Comet 2P/Encke, which has only a 3 year orbit of the Sun. Encke’s orbit also comes close to the Earth’s orbit where the Earth is at the end of June. I’ve always wondered if it was a piece of Encke’s nucleus that hit Siberia on June 30, 1908?

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


Taurid Radiants at midnight in early November
The Southern and Northern Taurid meteor shower radiants at around midnight in early November. Created using Stellarium.

The radiants are not as nearly defined as shown here