According to the American Meteor Society, the Southern Taurids meteor shower is expected to peak this weekend, on the night between Sunday, November 5th and Monday, November 6th, while the Northern Taurids will peak between Saturday, November 11th and Sunday, November 12th.
The Taurids are a long-lasting meteor shower that peak several times during its activity period. Both the Southern and Northern showers are similar, however the Northern Taurids are active a bit later in the year.
As always, being able to see the meteor shower depends on the weather and light pollution. As of now, Sunday night (11/5) is expected to be partly cloudy, and the clouds compared with NYC’s bright skies can throw a wrench in all of our meteor shower viewing plans.
The good news is that there will still be plenty of chances to catch the Taurids Meteor Shower if things don’t go as planned this weekend.
The Southern Taurids remain active through December 8th, and the Northern Taurids aren’t expected to reach their peak until Saturday, November 11th and remain active through December 2nd.
Later in the month we’ll also have the chance to catch the Leonids Meteor Shower, which peaks between Friday, November 17th and Saturday, November 18th.
The Geminds Meteor Shower are also in the forecast and will begin Sunday, November 19th and continue through Christmas Eve, though they won’t reach their peak until next month on Wednesday, December 13th.
The Geminids are usually one of the strongest meteor showers of the year, reliably producing several bright and intensely colorful meteors. According to NASA, the Geminids can produce up to 120 meteors an hour during their peak.
Lastly, the Ursid meteor showers will intersect with the Geminids, Wednesday, December 13th through the 24th peaking on Thursday, December 21st through Friday, December 22nd. Keep in mind the Ursids are more low-key and only a sprinkling of meteors are visible an hour.
According to Kat Troche, vice president of operations for the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York, the best time to view the meteor showers is after midnight in a very dark location.