Southern Taurids (STA)

Active: September 10 — November 20; Maximum: October 10 (λ⊙ = 197°); ZHR = 5;
Radiant: α = 32°, δ = +9°; Radiant drift: see Table 6;
V∞ = 27 km/s; r = 2.3;
TFC: Choose fields on the ecliptic and ∼ 10° E or W of the radiant (β > 40° S).

This stream, with its Northern counterpart, forms part of the complex associated with Comet 2P/Encke. Defining its radiant is best achieved by video, telescopic or careful visual plotting, since it is large and diffuse. For shower association, assume the radiant to be an oval area, ∼ 20°×10°, α×δ, centred on the radiant position for any given date. The Taurid activity overall dominates the Antihelion Source area’s during the northern autumn, so much so that the ANT is considered inactive while either branch of the Taurids is present. The brightness and relative slowness of many Taurid meteors makes them ideal targets for still-imaging, while these factors coupled with low, steady, Taurid rates makes them excellent subjects for newcomers to practice their plotting techniques on. Although long thought to combine with the Northern Taurids to produce an apparently plateau-like maximum in the first decade of November, VID and recent visual plotting work have indicated the Southern branch probably reaches its peak about a month before the Northern one, this year with just a waning crescent Moon. Its near-ecliptic radiant means all meteoricists can observe the STA, albeit northern hemisphere observers are somewhat better-placed, as here suitable radiant zenith distances persist for much of the night. Even in the southern hemisphere however, 3—5 hours’ watching around local midnight is possible with Taurus well above the horizon. See the "October to December" notes above for the possible Taurid "swarm" return in late October to early November.