Meteor Shower to Peak This Weekend—Fireballs Expected

Taurid shower, born of monster comet, split into two sky shows.

Like most other meteor showers, the Taurids happen when Earth slams into a cloud of debris left behind by a passing comet.

But "this stream of cometary debris that produces the Taurids contains a large fraction of pebble-sized material in addition to the dust grain-size particles that make up most of the meteors we see enter Earth's atmosphere," said Michael Solontoi, an astronomer with the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

When these larger bits of debris enter our atmosphere, they can produce spectacular fireballs. (Related: "'Major,' Green Meteor Lights Midwest Night Sky.")

Eyewitness reports describe fireball meteors as being brighter than any visible star or planet and even the full moon. Fireballs tend to trek across the sky at a

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