Taurid Fireballs

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Taurids radiants

Every October and November the two branches of the Taurid meteor shower become active. The Taurids are not known for their high numbers, rather they are known more for the fireballs they produce. Occasionally there are more Taurid fireballs than normal. 2015 may be such a year. These increased numbers of fireballs are due to the fact that the Earth encounters larger than normal particles shed by comet 2P/Encke, the parent comet of the the Taurids. These fireballs are thought to be active between October 29 and November 10. Luckily, this at time of year the area of which these meteors appear to come from lies above the horizon all night long. During the evening hours Taurid meteors will shoot upwards from the eastern sky. Near midnight they sill shoot from an area high in the southern sky (as seen from mid-northern latitudes). In the late morning hours they will shoot upwards from the western sky. Unlike most meteors, the Taurids are not fast. The fireball class meteors are usually vividly colored and may fragment before they completely disintegrate. Not every meteor or fireball will be a Taurid as there are other minor showers active plus random activity.

The American Meteor Society is always interested in any fireballs you may witness. If you happen to see one of these bright meteors, we invite you to fill out a fireball report at: please fill out an official fireball report.

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21 comments

  • AJ Buchanan 11 months ago

    I saw a large fireball at approximately 2:30 am this morning in the sky west of Pojoaque, New Mexico. It moved rather slowly from south to north. Absolutely beautiful. It’s the first one I have seen! Loved it!

    Reply to AJ
  • Corey 11 months ago

    I am in mason/west chester ohio area and have randomly seen 3 this evening!

    Reply to Corey
  • Michael Keyes 11 months ago

    We saw one over Belfast, Maine this past Sunday evening around 6:00-7:00pm. Not sure how far away it was, but it was that bright green – lovely and startling against a clear early evening sky! Wasn’t sure what it was until I came upon this description of the Taurids.

    Reply to Michael
  • Steven Lazar 11 months ago

    While walking my dogs this evening (Nov 3) at 8pm in Concord, Massachusetts, I saw a fireball cross the sky at what appeared to be just above tree tops moving slowly from south to north. It covered about 60 degrees of arc before disappearing. I checked the internet for similar phenomena and discovered that the Taurid fireballs were prominent at this time. What a treat!

    Reply to Steven
  • Tim 11 months ago

    I saw a fireball tonight at 8:07pm here in Clayville (Scituate) RI. Very bright, heading north-northwest with long smoke trail. It seemed a little slower than your average meteor sighting. That was awesome!

    Reply to Tim
  • Heather Yike 11 months ago

    I live in South Bend, IN. My daughter and I just saw a large white fireball around 9pm 11/3/15. I have never seen anything like it before. Beautiful…

    Reply to Heather
  • Jeremy 11 months ago

    I live in Elwood, Indiana and on November 4th we saw a bright globe of light go west in the sky! It seem so close that we could see it enter the atmosphere, it exploded and red embers tail behind it. It was nothing like I ever seen before in my life.

    Reply to Jeremy
  • Monica 11 months ago

    I live in Portales New Mexico and I saw a fireball type object fly through the sky just behind my house last night on November 4th around 8:45. It seemed not much higher than the power lines and was so bright and beautiful! I was in complete amazement because I have never seen anything like that before! It wasn’t movino too fast and it flew pasta ND just burned out into the sky. It was a bright white with what seemed to have a slight blue glow about it and had 2 “tails” that followed behind it. It only lasted about 3 seconds and it was gone. I am thankful I was looking up at just the right time in the right direction.

    Reply to Monica
  • Cheryl Takacs 11 months ago

    Around 12:30am 11/6 I saw a stream of light with a tail slower than a shooting star descend in the sky from West to North and I’m in Grand Junction, Colorado,,,,, feel special to have seen it

    Reply to Cheryl
  • Angela 11 months ago

    This evening at right around 6:25-ish, happened to be looking up at the southern sky and saw one. Bright like a flare from a flare gun – moving west to east in slight downward arc. Lasted about 3 seconds. My son saw it too.

    Reply to Angela
  • Amy 11 months ago

    November 7th; between 11:00-11:30 EST. My good friend and I were watching OSU vs. Minnesota from the south endzone of the Ohio Stadium in Columbus, OH. The teams were gathered at the other end of the stadium when an enormous white ball of light headed north. The crowd around us collectively let out a sound of awe and wonderment :) Assuming it was a meteor, it was the brightest and largest I had ever witnessed!

    Reply to Amy
  • Amy 11 months ago

    My good friend and I were watching OSU vs. Minnesota from the south endzone of the Ohio Stadium in Columbus, OH. The teams were gathered at the other end of the stadium when an enormous white ball of light headed north. The crowd around us collectively let out a sound of awe and wonderment :) Assuming it was a meteor, it was the brightest and largest I had ever witnessed!

    November 7th; between 11:00-11:30 EST. South to north; downward arc; short/medium-sized tail.

    Reply to Amy
  • Maddie 11 months ago

    @5:25am fireball bright orange and so low I heard it sizzle as it broke apart. It was awesome.

    Reply to Maddie
    • Maddie 11 months ago

      Additional info. Fireball from NE heading south @5:25am Fridley suburb of Minneapolis.

      Reply to Maddie
  • vicki 11 months ago

    I live in Yulee, FL.. Never thought I’d see a Taurid shoot across my neighborhood. It was a Large Beautiful Lime green colored fireball with a lighter green glow around it. It only lasted approx. 3 secs We just happened to see it as I was talking to a friend outside in my driveway.
    There was no sound before, during or after, it quietly shot across the sky heading slightly downwards . I’ll never forget the beautiful green it was. made quite an impact on me. kids were mad they missed it.

    Reply to vicki
    • connie cunningham 11 months ago

      had one wake me up last night – set all my roosters off crowing. 11/10/15 Morrison Mo. about 4:20 from what I can remember.

      Reply to connie
  • Beth 11 months ago

    at 9:03 pm November 9, 2015, my husband and I were lucky enough to spot a fireball in Seattle. It went from NNE to west and was colored orange with “sparks” coming from the tail. Lasted about 2 seconds. We were in the car and did not hear any sound.

    Reply to Beth
  • lisa davis 11 months ago

    6:45 PM central time over Arkansas from east to west . . it was partly cloudy, but very bright thru the clouds

    Reply to lisa
  • Choc 11 months ago

    Nothing so far in my part of ID but it is extremely overcast although I didn’t think cloud cover would hide fireball based upon video I saw taken in Thailand (overcast plus bright lights of large city) but perhaps it depends on proximity. I saw something during the Sept. 27 lunar eclipse that included two regular looking falling stars and one large orange ball that had sound and lit up a large portion of the sky like a huge lightening flash so you could see everything on the horizon as though it were day light. I’d never seen anything like it before and was so looking forward to seeing one (or several) when I saw news article on Taurid for midnight to 3 a.m. although watched the skies for the last 11 hours (4 p.m. to 3 a.m.) and now all I want to do is go to bed (YAWN). Disappointed.

    Reply to Choc
  • Dave Monthie 11 months ago

    Think I saw the same one as Beth in Seattle. I live in Olympia, an hour south of Seattle, and what I saw was at the same time, in the same direction. Looked yellowish-orange to me. Big explosion at the front of it, large very round fireball. Then glowing embers where the fireball had been, and a long smoke trail. I had never seen anything like it; it was amazing.

    Reply to Dave
  • Michele 11 months ago

    11/11/2015, Eldon, MO. Approx 5:40 PM, long tail, then split in two, turned a light shade of blue before it dissipated.

    Reply to Michele

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