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The annual Taurid meteor shower gets underway with a peak around 12th of November. Expect an average zenithal hourly rate of seven meteors per hour.

Earth is due to pass through a swarm of gritty debris from parent comet 2P/Encke sparking the annual Taurid Meteor Shower. When the same thing happened in 2005, sky watchers observed a slow drizzle of midnight fireballs for nearly two weeks.

This shower is much like the Southern Taurids, just active a bit later in the year. When the two showers are active simultaneously in late October and early November, there is sometimes a notable increase in fireball activity. There seems to be a seven year periodicity with these fireballs. 2008 was the last remarkable year. Perhaps 2015 will be the next?

The peak of the Taurid Meteor Shower occurs around the 12th of November and has an average zenithal hourly rate of seven meteors per hour.

Be alert for Taurids

Be alert for Taurids

How to Watch the Taurid Meteor Shower

Meteor showers are really easy to view, and you don't need any special equipment. It helps to get out of cities away from artificial lights and light pollution. Take warm clothes, hot drinks and blanket or a comfortable chair with you. Viewing meteors, just like all astronomy, is a waiting game and you need to be comfortable, especially during the winter months. Finally, you need to let your eyes adapt to the dark - avoid looking at your mobile phone or any other light as they will hinder night vision.

Meteors will always travel away from the constellation for which the shower is named. This apparent point of origin is called the radiant. For example, if you look directly at Gemini you will see geminid meteors radiate out from the constellation. Lying down and observing overhead can be the best way to observe meteor showers.

The only thing you will need is a clear and comfortable dark spot. You won't have to use binoculars or a telescope to enjoy the night's sky.

The showers will appear in the sky like shooting stars so be sure to make a wish as they pass you by.

Photographing Meteor Showers

For photographing meteor showers, a digital camera mounted on a tripod is essential to steady the images. Meteors will move swiftly across the sky so a quick trigger finger also helps, but even random clicks during the height of 'prime-time' can also produce great results. Be sure to have the camera focused on infinity and, if your camera permits, leave the shutter open for several minutes for the most spectacular photographic effects.

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