The Taurid meteor shower is unfolding these days in all its glory, and it can even ignite the night sky with a few fireballs. While astronomers were expecting such an outcome, they might not have predicted that a fireball so imposing as the one that landed in the Californian city of Oroville would occur.
A spectator of the celestial show in Oroville shared a video of a massive fireball entering the atmosphere and becoming even bigger and more imposing as it approached the surface. CBS News published the impressive and also terrifying footage.
Luckily or not, viewers didn’t even need a telescope or binoculars to witness the celestial show. But they’ll probably need some anti-anxiety pills after seeing the fireball:
The Taurid meteor shower (aka the Taurids) occurs in the night sky every year, and it’s associated with the Encke comet. The Taurids split into a Northern and Southern component.
What’s interesting is that both the Encke comet and the Taurids may actually be remnants of an even larger comet, one that disintegrated over the past few tens of thousands of years. There are thousands of known comets in our Solar System.
Comet Encke is classified as a periodic comet, and it completes a full orbit around the Sun once every 3.3 years. Pierre Méchain is the one who first recorded the Encke comet, and it happened in early 1786. However, the cosmic object was recognized as a periodic comet only in 1819 when Johann Franz Encke computed its orbit.
Fireballs occurring over the skies above the US territory don’t represent anything new. For instance, our publication posted about such an event last year in November, when a fireball ignited the skies over the state of North Carolina.