2 Meteor Showers Will Peak & Overlap Over the Coming Weeks

The North and South Taurids will reach their peak in early November, with good views starting in late October.

We’re in the midst of a nice run of meteor showers, even if some have been spoiled by arriving close to a full moon. As we move into late October and early November, the South and North Taurids are closing in on their peaks.

The South Taurids are predicted to peak on November 5, while the North Taurids' peak comes on November 12. However, as EarthSky notes, these showers don't have the hard peak that many others have. There are more days when you can expect to see these displays at their best.

Though, neither shower is explosive. At their peak, the American Meteor Society suggests you might see around five meteors per hour from each shower. Though, this year you should look out for fireballs, which are particularly bright meteors that are easier to spot.

How to watch the South and North Taurid meteor showers

EarthSky says that the showers "ramble" through late October into early November and are generally at their best during the period where they overlap. Late October, in particular, may be a fruitful time to stargaze since the new moon arrives on October 25. As we get closer to the peak, the moon will brighten, moving toward its full phase on November 8.

You need to be under dark skies to maximize the number of meteors you’ll see. A bright moon can make it hard to see all of the meteors that might otherwise be present. Even worse than a bright moon is the light pollution you get from being near a city. 

You’ll want to get out after midnight to maximize your chance of seeing meteors with these displays. That is when the most appear each night. EarthSky notes that the meteors from these showers tend to be slow-moving, but the potential for bright meteors is good this year. There is a "seven-year periodicity" of when the Taurids can produce fireballs, according to the American Meteor Society.

It is not the most vibrant shower display of the year, but the possibility of fireballs this year, coupled with the extended period over which you might find them makes these meteor showers worth the effort.

Ready to go stargazing?

Here are all the best stargazing events that you can get out and see this month or you could stay in a stream the northern lights from home. If you're just getting started, check out our guide to astronomy for beginners or easy stargazing road trips from big US cities.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin on Twitter.