Feeds

Taurid meteors promise Guy Fawkes fireball show

'Unusually good' display expected on 5 Nov

Security for virtualized datacentres

Aficionados of meteor showers should cast their eyes heavenwards on 5 and 12 November for what are expected to be "unusually good" displays from the Taurids, possibly including fireball-inducing larger meteors colliding terminally with Earth's atmosphere.

The Taurid meteors - so named because they appear to emanate from the constellation Taurus - are the streamed remains of a disintegrated comet which "probably coalesced into a cluster due to gravitational tugs from Jupiter", as New Scientist puts it.

This cluster orbits the Sun every 3.4 years, so we don't always pass through it. But this year we're making a "glancing pass" of the debris; this began in October and will peak this month. The Taurids don't entertain with as many meteors as the Leonids or Perseids, but this time around they might offer around 20 burn-ups per hour.

The night of 5 November is reckoned to be the best bet, since the 12th is an almost full Moon. Northern hemisphere skywatchers will get the best view, although their southern hemisphere counterparts can take advantage of three to five hours of activity "around midnight on Wednesday, when the constellation Taurus is above the horizon".

Bootnote

The Taurids aren't the only remains of the disintegrated comet - it also left comet 2P/Encke which NASA hoped to examine with its CONTOUR spacecraft back in 2003. However, the probe went awol in 2002, apparently as a result of an engine firing which broke it in two.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST
Speculation rife, but Orbital claims it's too early to tell
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM
'What fun!' exlaims NASA boffin who found the LADEE
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.