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Conditions Are Perfect To Watch A Meteor Shower On Halloween Night - Here’s How

Mike Lewinski - Flickr / Jill111 - Pixabay

Halloween brings all kinds of spooky fun to our lives, from scary movies and costumes to jack-o-lanterns and ghost stories.

But if all of that creepy stuff just isn't for you, we have a wholesome alternative for 2018.

With the annual Taurid meteor shower hitting its peak, stargazers should get a good view of the shooting stars this Halloween.

Keep Watching The Skies

Taurid meteor shower 2018
Fireballs and shooting stars can be seen every hour during the Taurids.Mike Lewinski - Flickr

Every year, like clockwork, dust and debris from the Comet Encke falls into Earth's atmosphere.

The incredible speed of that space dust, and the way it burns up in our atmosphere, creates a months-long display of fireballs, and shooting stars with long tails, that we call a meteor shower.

This shower is called the Taurids, since it seems to appear around the constellation Tarus, but its shooting stars can be seen in any corner of the sky.

And while 2018 is considered an "off year" for the shower, when less meteors are visible because less space stuff is falling to earth, there will still be a few Taurid meteors to see each hour.

Taurid Meteor shower Halloween
While trick-or-treaters may see some shooting stars, most will be visible after midnight.Staff Sgt. Darnell T. Cannady - U.S. Air Force

Viewing conditions on Halloween night are already shaping up to be very good, since the full moon from October 24 is waning, creating a darker, clearer sky.

Meteor activity is also expected to peak in the first week of November, so Halloween stargazers might see more lights than usual.

How To See The Taurid Meteor Shower

Bear in mind, in a year like this you shouldn't expect to see more than seven shooting stars or less an hour while watching the skies.

They'll be most visible after midnight, and can usually be spotted around Taurus, but it's important to scan the whole sky because sometimes the lights furthest away from the constellation burn the brightest.

Taurus Constellation
Check below for a printable star map to help find Taurus and Pleiades in the night sky.Torsten Bronger - Wikimedia

If you have a star chart handy, look to the Pleiades star cluster, sometimes called the Seven Sisters, because fireballs from the Taurids seem to "arrive" from there.

And, of course, city lights will limit what you can see in the night sky, so camping out in the country will make it easier to spot the Taurids.

But the good news is you don't need a telescope or any special gear to see this meteor shower.

If sitting outside to watch a handful of shooting stars isn't for you, maybe the Geminids in December will interest you.

The number of lights in these showers are much brighter, sometimes over 100 an hour, so you'll be able to make plenty of wishes if you can brave the cold.

Here's a free, printable guide to the night sky, which will help you spot the meteors.

And NASA's Kids' Club website features more astronomy lessons and fun games for children.

[H/T: Travel+Leisure, Space.com]

Will you be watching the sky on Halloween?

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com