Sky Watch: Annual 'Taurid' Meteor Shower Peaks For New England

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Don't forget to look up— Friday night into Saturday morning marks peak viewing conditions for New England to see the annual Taurid meteor shower, as this display shapes up to be one of the most "fireball-centric" in recent years.

It'll be a late-night event, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration the best time to view the shower will be after midnight on Saturday. The timing is best for viewing as Taurus will be high in the sky, and the moon's illuminate won't obscure the dimmer meteor displays.

New England residents have already reported seeing the spectacle early on Thursday.

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Every year between September and November, the Earth passes through a string of debris left behind by Comet Encke, something that does a full orbit of the sun every 3.3 years. The remaining dust off the comet connects with the Earth's atmosphere at around 65,000 miles per hour and burns up, thus causing the Taurid meteor shower and spectacles of fireballs in the sky, according to NASA.

Some scientists say this year may prove to be a more active Taurid shower season than usual, as something called a Taurid "swarm" springs off pebble-sized pieces from the comet to shine within the Earth's atmosphere as they burn up.

NASA has an "All Sky Fireball Network" to track fireball sightings nationwide.

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