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Taurid's Fireballs Amid Auroras in Midwest Tonight

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posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 02:55 AM
Tonight was interesting to say the least...

A friend and I decided to drive out to the country after reading that Aurora Borealis would be visible as far south as Raleigh NC, due to a G3 magnetic storm. Since we're currently in central IL, we figured an hours drive Northwest from the city of Peoria should provide plenty of distance from the city lights, giving us good odds of seeing the awesome Northern Lights.

The half-Moon was still below the horizon at 9:00pm when we parked before a dilapidated bridge in the middle of nowhere. It was exceedingly dark, and the skies were crystal clear. I had not even had the time to get out of the car before I saw the first fireball. This was not your typical shooting star by any means. It burned slowly across the sky, breaking up and leaving a tail of sparks as it went.

That was just the first in a series of equally stunning meteors we saw within about five minutes of parking the car. No obvious Auroras could be seen yet, but I had just seen three of the most incredible fireballs of my life in a row, easily rivaling this one which I felt was thread-worthy all by itself...

From about 9:00pm to 10:30pm I simply could not keep count of all the meteors we saw. We discussed the idea that all these incredibly impressive meteors were from the debris tail of The "Great Pumpkin" 2015 TB 145. We didn't it realize at the time, but the Taurid Meteor Shower was also beginning it's peak tonight, so initially we were quite shocked over the number and intensity of the fireballs.

As much as we were enjoying the meteor shower, it was around 11:20pm that we got a big distraction. I had just noticed the Moon peaking over the horizon and mentioned it to my friend. Not 10 seconds after I did this, the vast, pitch-black fields around us opened up with the lunatic cries of hundreds of coyotes all around us... greeting the Moon as it were. A few of them sounded like they were within 10 feet of where we were sitting.

Needless to say, it was quite chilling to suddenly realize we had been hanging around in the dark for an hour and a half completely unaware we were surrounded by coyotes!

Some time passed and the coyotes finished their Moon songs. Eventually the Auroras did become visible, however faintly. They looked like dim, whispy red clouds, streaking upward. I had seen Auroras similar to this in a suburb of Chicago a few years back. (No pun intended.)

It was getting close to 1:30am and those fireballs and shooting stars had continued steadily the entire time. I've never seen anything like it in my life. Unfortunately though, a haze was beginning to move into the area along with a very cold breeze, so we decided to get going. Once back on the road, the fog was thick and we could hardly see the sky at all. It made for a perfectly eerie drive home.

All in all it was a fantastic night that I'll never forget. The Auroras may have been lacking for the most part, but I'll say again the Taurid meteor shower was simply incredible, and I seriously recommend everyone spend some time watching the skies during its passing: you will not regret it! This meteor shower is expected to extend throughout the month, however it will peak between Nov. 5th-12th, so there's plenty of time yet.

I wonder if any of you also happened to catch what we saw tonight?

edit on AMq000000amTuesday00000011320 by Aqualung2012 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 03:07 AM
a reply to: Aqualung2012

I'm jealous.

As is the story of my life with dang near every single meteor shower event, year after year after year... I have cloudy overcast skies and can't see a damn thing.

*grumble grumble*

But it sounds like you really had a great evening of skywatching, so I guess I can take comfort in that ?

posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 03:32 AM
a reply to: CranialSponge

I know the feeling, believe me. That usually happens to me too, just got lucky this time I guess.

But I gotta say, having been unaware of the Taurids and their intense nature, I wasn't taking much comfort in my own experience at the time. All I could think of were the recent blue streaks in the skies over Copenhagen and Bangkok. The way these things were coming down, I was convinced this wasn't normal.

I've seen meteor showers plenty of times: never anything close to tonight though.
edit on AMq000000amTuesday00000011320 by Aqualung2012 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 04:00 AM
a reply to: Aqualung2012

Really ? It's that good this year ?

Dagnabit !

The last Taurid shower I was able to watch (about 4 or 5 years ago) turned out to be such a dud. Hopefully there'll be lots of great pics flowing on the internet over the next couple days with this one then.

Mind you, pics never do a good meteor shower any justice like what you experience with your own two eyes.


posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 04:03 AM
a reply to: CranialSponge

Well not to worry, I've read that the shower won't even peak until the 5th-12th of November. Tonight was apparently just a sample.

posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 04:24 AM
a reply to: Aqualung2012

Unfortunately our weather forecast is cloudy skies throughout, but maybe there'll be a break in there somewhere.

I'm crossing my fingers for clear skies during the Geminids shower in December this year, it's supposed to be a moonless sky, and the Geminids are usually the best show of the year.

My fondest memory of the Geminids is about 150 years ago when I was in grade 7. My girlfriend and I were walking down our backlane at around 5:30am on our way to school (we used to go to school super early because the night janitor would let us in to rollerskate around the halls until the doors were officially unlocked for the teachers at 7am).

Anyways, there was literally a raining of 100's of meteors flying over our heads all at once for about 5 minutes... it made us stop in our tracks completely amazed by what we were seeing. And I still remember it vividly like it was yesterday. It was actually that particular event that got me interested in star gazing.

I've never experienced anything like it since.

But I always have my hopes up to see Geminids like that at least one more time in life.

posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 04:25 AM
Very cool! We've managed to miss every celestial event here due to cloud cover as well, looks like clear skies for a few nights tho an I appreciate the heads up!

posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 06:00 AM
Right on!
I live in Northern Ontario. The Northern lights are a real intense.
Up here i have seen them mostly Green and violet but every once in a while pink will show up.
I work at a remote mine so you can see the lights pretty much every night here.

posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 07:34 AM
a reply to: Aqualung2012

Thanks for the heads up! Last night, around 8pm, nothing interesting going on in the sky that i noticed (Chicago suburbs), but i did catch one "standard" meteor streak by in just a few minutes taking garbage out.

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