This month’s second minor meteor shower finds its peak activity over the next few nights, though, like the southern Taurid Meteor Shower early last week, the Northern Taurids tonight are a long-lasting shower, active through October and November. The numbers will be fairly low, 5 to 10 per hour, but the rocky fragments are larger than average, creating a few larger, brighter fireballs.
Near the zenith – the very top of the sky – at 9:00 PM this evening is one of the treasures of the deep sky. A dark location and clear skies will reveal the Andromeda Galaxy, the most distant object the human eye can see without the help of telescopes or binoculars, 2.5 million light years from here.
Near 8 o’clock this evening, as the Big Dipper scrapes the hills and trees along the northern horizon, look half way up in the north to find the North Star. Now continue, about the same distance to the top of the sky, where an upside-down w-shaped pattern marks Cassiopeia, the Queen, always opposite the Big Dipper as they pivot around the North Star.