Taurid meteor showers

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A celestial light show will grace the night sky,as the Taurid meteor shower reaches its peak.

About Taurid meteor shower 

  • The Taurid meteors are debris from the periodic Comet 2P/Encke, which has the shortest known orbital period for a comet (takes only 3.3 years to make one complete trip around the sun).
  • These showers are named after the constellation Taurus.
  • It is unique in that it comprises two distinct streams (i.e., Southern and Northern Taurids), both of which have spread over time due to the gravitational influence of Jupiter.
  • It can be seen with the naked eye and are best viewed at around midnight. 
  • These are modest, offering fewer than 10 shooting stars per hour on peak nights.
  • However, November is one of the better months for shooting stars because there are many sporadic meteors

What are Meteoroid, Meteor and Meteorite?

  • Meteoroid is an object in space that range in size from dust grains to small asteroids.
  • When meteoroids enter Earth’s atmosphere (or that of another planet, like Mars) at high speed and burn up, the fireballs or “shooting stars” are called meteors.
  • When a meteoroid survives a trip through the atmosphere and hits the ground, it’s called a Meteorite.

What is the significance of Meteors?

  • It helps in understanding early conditions and processes in the solar system’s history.
  • These include the age and composition of different planetary building blocks, the temperatures achieved at the surfaces and interiors of asteroids, and the degree to which materials were shocked by impacts in the past.

Q1) What is a comet?

A comet is a celestial object composed of ice, dust, rock, and various volatile compounds that orbits the Sun in an elongated or elliptical path. When comets approach the Sun, they heat up and release gas and dust in the form of a glowing coma (a diffuse, bright area around the nucleus) and often exhibit a tail that points away from the Sun due to the solar wind and radiation pressure.

Source: How to watch the Taurid meteor showers peak this weekend and next