The Southern Taurid meteor shower will peak around midnight on November 5, 2023

The Southern Taurid meteor shower in 2023 starts on September 10 and ends on November 30, and you will see peak activity on November 5, 2023, according to the American Meteor Society.

It is a minor annual meteor shower in November 2023 that usually produces up to 10 meteors per hour during peak activity under clear, dark skies.

A Taurid fireball captured on November 5, 2022
A multi-bursting Taurid fireball has been captured by Eliot Herman from Tucson, Arizona, USA, on November 5, 2022, at 02:08 MST (9:08 UTC). (Image credit: Eliot Herman/AMS)

Despite its low rates, there is a possibility of witnessing several fireballs on the same night and this should be enough to tempt you out into the cold of November. Fireballs are exceptionally bright meteors.

Please remember that the Taurid meteor shower has two branches, the Southern Taurids and the Northern Taurids, and both branches are rich in fireballs.

We see the Southern Taurid meteor shower every year in early November when our Earth passes through the debris of ice and dust left behind by the comet Encke in its orbit. So the every Southern Taurid meteor is the piece of comet Encke.

The Southern Taurid meteor shower doesn’t have a sharp peak

The Southern Taurid meteor shower have a fairly broad peak that overlaps with the Northern Taurid meteor shower, which peaks a week later (on November 11). So you can expect a fairly steady rate of meteors (up to 12 meteors per hour) for about 10 days in early to mid-November.

Best time to see the Southern Taurid meteor shower in 2023

The best time to see the Southern Taurid meteor shower in 2023 is around midnight on November 5.

The radiant of the Southern Taurid meteor shower rises in the early evening, reaches its highest point in the sky around midnight and then its altitude (height) gradually decreases until it sets in the early morning.

However, the radiant of the Southern Taurid meteor shower is well above the horizon from the late evening (at around 10 p.m. local time), so I will suggest you start watching Southern Taurids from late evening and continue it till post-midnight (at around 2 a.m. local time).

Please avoid dusk (early evening) and dawn to see the Southern Taurid meteor shower, as the radiant is located near the horizon in the eastern sky at dusk and near the horizon in the western sky at dawn. 

Radiant is the point from where the meteors of the Southern Taurid meteor shower appear to radiate in the sky. Radiant of the Southern Taurid meteor shower is located in the zodiac constellation Taurus.

Best place to see the Southern Taurid meteor shower in 2023

Countries located in the low-northern latitudes (from 5°N to 20°N) are the best places to see the Southern Taurid meteor shower in the world.

Countries located in the low-northern latitudes are Saudi Arabia, India, China, Mexico, Cuba, Senegal, Sudan, Myanmar, Philippines, Guatemala, Guinea, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Colombia and French Guiana.

However, you can see the Southern Taurid meteor shower from every country in the world unless you’re sunbathing in Antarctica at midnight.

Please remember that the maximum altitude (height) of the Taurus constellation in the sky is not the same from all over the world. It depends on the observer’s location.

The higher the altitude of the Taurus constellation in the sky, the more Taurid meteors you will see.

The Taurus constellation reaches an almost overhead point (more than 80° altitude) around midnight when you see it from the counties located in the low-northern latitudes (from 5°N to 20°N).

That’s why countries located in the low-northern latitudes are the best places to see the Southern Taurid meteor shower in the world.

Best direction to see the Southern Taurid meteor shower in 2023

The radiant of Taurid meteor shower (both the Southern Taurids and the Northern Taurids) is located in the zodiac constellation Taurus
Look high in the south around midnight to see the Southern Taurid meteor shower. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The Southern Taurid meteor shower radiates from the zodiac constellation Taurus. Look high in the south around midnight on November 5 to find the constellation Taurus.

However, I will suggest you don’t look at the constellation Taurus only to see the Southern Taurid meteor shower, as the meteors closer to the radiant have shorter trails and are difficult to observe. So move your gaze across the entire south direction of the sky.

If you look at the constellation Taurus only, then you may miss most of the spectacular Southern Taurid meteors, as the most spectacular meteors travel a longer path in the sky.

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About the Author

Ashim

Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of spaceandtelescope.com.

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