2005 Taurid Shower Fireballs

The annual Taurid meteor shower occurs when debris from Comet Encke intercepts the Earth at a high velocity. The debris stream is very diffuse, so we see activity for about a month on either side of the November 1 peak. Normally, the Taurid shower is not very active. This year, however, it has produced a remarkable number of fireballs.

2005 Taurid FireballsThis is a composite image of 64 fireballs collected between October 25 and November 8 on the Cloudbait allsky camera. These are fireballs only- in the same two week period the camera collected a total of 324 meteors. Most of these were Taurids, but a few were Orionids and about 50 were sporadics. Because the images were collected over many nights, the radiant of the shower is not in a fixed location, and is not evident in this composite. The radiant is in Taurus, not far from Mars, which is seen here as a bright necklace extending from 90° to 270° azimuth.

Selected Fireball Videos

Note that in most of these videos you can see a distinct trail behind the meteor. Such trails must be very bright to be recorded in the short 1/30 second video frame exposure time.

© Copyright 2005, Chris L Peterson. All rights reserved.