During the next couple of weeks, there is a fairly good chance that Earth will encounter a swarm of unusually large space particles, capable of generating some eye-catching fireball meteors. The Taurid meteors, sometimes called “Halloween fireballs,”(fireballs are extremely bright meteors) create one of this year’s longest meteor showers, with at least a couple of shooting stars per hour from Oct. 20 to Nov. 30. But a one-week time frame extending from Nov. 5 through Nov. 12 is when the Taurids are most active.
During peak times, about a dozen or so meteors may be seen per hour by an observer with clear, dark skies. (City lights or even slight haze will reduce substantially the number of faint meteors seen.) These meteors are often yellowish-orange and, as meteors go, appear to move rather slowly. Meteors — popularly known as “shooting stars” — are produced when debris enters and burns up in Earth’s atmosphere. The meteors that make up the Taurid meteor shower are attributed to debris left behind by Encke’s Comet, or perhaps by a much larger comet that upon disintegrating, left Encke and a lot of other rubble in its wake. Indeed, the Taurid debris stream contains noticeably larger fragments than those shed by other comets, which is why in certain years — and 2015 is predicted to be one — this rather elderly meteor stream occasionally delivers a few unusually bright meteors. FULL REPORT