Posts Tagged ‘North Taurids’

11/11/2021 – Ephemeris – The Moon passes Jupiter and a minor meteor shower tonight.

November 11, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 43 minutes, setting at 5:18, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:36. The Moon, at first quarter today, will set at 12:16 tomorrow morning.

By tonight, the Moon will have moved over and just passed Jupiter. The bright planet will be to the right and above the first quarter Moon. There is also a meteor shower occurring, well actually two. They are minor, with maybe 5 to 15 meteors per hour at peak. With both showers, the radiants, that is where the meteors seem to come from, is in Taurus the Bull near the Pleiades star cluster. The notes I have for the Northern Taurids is that they are slow and bright, not bothered by a bright Moon. So if a meteor is spotted in the evening coming from the east, it’s probably a North Taurid meteor. As the night progresses the radiant will move westward, higher in the sky and begin to set in the west as morning twilight starts.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EST, UT – 5 hours). They may be different for your location.


Viewing the Moon’s passage by Saturn and Jupiter for three nights, November 9, 10 and 11 2021. Note that while the Moon is jumping eastward, to the left, the planets and stars are moving the other way, but much more slowly. The Moon moves 360° around the sky in about 29 1/2 days, so it moves about 12°  or 24 of its diameters every day. The movement of the stars and planets in the other direction is because we are staying at the same solar time, 7 pm. However, the Earth is orbiting the Sun at a little less than a degree a solar day. To keep the stars stationary, our daily interval should be one sidereal day, the time it takes the earth to rotate with respect to the stars, which is 23 hours 3 minutes and 56 seconds. Should we have stepped at the sidereal rate, the very slight eastward motion of these outer planets may have been noticeable. Created using Stellarium, and GIMP.

Taurids radiants in the east in the evening

North and South Taurid radiants seen in the east at 9 pm on November 11th. The Northern Taurid radiant is the most active now. Note the Pleiades just to the upper left of the Northern Taurid radiant. The face of Taurus the bull is below as a sideways V where Taurus is displayed.  However, since the meteors are seen all over the sky, it might be difficult to trace them back to a specific radiant. Created using Stellarium.

As a side note, about the face of Taurus. The stars, except the brightest one, Aldebaran, belong to a star cluster called the Hyades. They are, mythologically, the half-sisters of the Pleiades. Also, the V can be an upside down A. I am currently working on a program I’m going to present at the December Zoom meeting of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society about astronomy in ancient times. Back when the alphabet was developed in the Middle East 4000-4500 years ago, Taurus, not Aries was the first sign of the zodiac, so apparently the first letter of the alphabet “Aleph” was modeled after the face of Taurus.

Other tidbits are: the reason there are 24 hours in a day, and 60 minutes in an hour. There are lots of others.  We can handle up to 100 people joining the meeting.  It’s at 8 pm EST (UT – 5 hours), December 3rd [01:00 UT, December 4th]. To join the meeting, go to for instructions and a link.


11/11/2016 – Ephemeris – Two Taurid meteor showers active now

November 11, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Veteran’s Day, Friday, November 11th.  The Sun will rise at 7:35.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 43 minutes, setting at 5:18.  The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 4:49 tomorrow morning.

We are situated between two supposed peaks of two meteor showers, the South Taurids and the Northern Taurids.  Their radiant points are roughly north and south of the face of Taurus the bull, which looks like the letter V of stars lying on its side.  Both meteoroid streams belong to Encke’s Comet, the comet with the shortest known period of 3.3 years.  The far end of the streams end up near Jupiter’s orbit, which allow the giant planet to split and broaden the meteoroid streams.  Another feature of these streams is that they seem to be made of small pebbles rather than grains.  When these pebbles hit our atmosphere at 17 miles (28 km) per second they will appear very bright.  Really bright meteors are called Fireballs.

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


Fireball orbits or November 9th, 2016

Fireball orbits traced back from November 9, 2016. The orbits marked in yellow sticking out o the right toward Jupiter’s orbit are the Taurids. Credit NASA All-sky Fireball Network via

NASA has three widely spaced sets of all-sky cameras which allow it to get 3-D views of fireballs entering the Earth’s atmosphere.  which allow the measurement of velocity of the object and the determination of the meteoroid’s orbit before it hit Earth’s atmosphere.  For more information go to: