Scientists are saying that the next two weeks might see our planet encountering a swarm of extraordinarily big space particles that are capable of producing stunning fireball meteors. These meteors are called Taurid meteors and due to the time of their arrival many are also referring to them as Halloween fireballs.
Taurid meteors or Halloween fireballs will result in one of the current year’s longest meteor showers. Experts are saying that between October 20 and November 30, the sky will be playing host to a minimum of two shooting stars per hour. However, according to them, the Taurids will be most active during the one week between November 5 and November 12.
During the peak times, if the sky is clear and dark, observers might even see around a dozen or more meteors per hour. Here, it must be mentioned that city lights or even a minor haze will be reducing the number of meteors seen substantially. These Taurid meteors are usually yellowish-range in color.
For those who don’t know: meteors are shooting stars formed when debris enters the Earth’s atmosphere and burns up. Some experts say that meteors responsible for causing the Taurid meteor shower are debris formed due to the disintegration of Encke’s Comet. There are also some who say that the debris leading to this meteor shower might have been left behind by a much bigger comet, which when disintegrated, left lost of rubbles including Encke.
Indeed, the fragments in the Taurid debris swarm are much larger compared to the ones shed by other comets. Due to this reason, some years see this elderly meteor stream delivering some abnormally bright meteors from time to time. The year 2015, according to expert predictions, will be one such year.
Taurids are divided into two categories, Northern and Southern. This categorization is done based on the fate of the meteor stream when it becomes old. Particles in a Taurid stream, even during their initial days, couldn’t have moved exactly in their parent comet’s orbit. This slight divergence of the particles builds up with time. Here, it must be noted that the orbits of the particles are gravitationally controlled not only by the sun but even by the planets (effects of the planets are subtle).