Taurids and Leonids meteor showers to light up Swiss skies this month
Over the next two weeks, people across Switzerland will be given a chance to catch a glimpse of two spectacular meteor showers, with the Taurids and the Leonids set to peak in the night’s sky in mid-November. Here’s how to watch the stunning natural phenomena from Swiss cities and cantons.
Taurid meteor shower to peak in Switzerland on November 13
First, the Northern Taurids (or Taurid) meteor shower is set to peak in the skies above Switzerland on November 13, 2023. The Taurid shower is caused by the debris left in the wake of Encke’s Comet, which travels around the earth every autumn. The Southern Taurids also peaked back in October and on November 6, but now it is the turn of their northern cousins.
The shower itself is quite slow-moving, meaning stargazers have more of a chance of seeing the meteors as they cross the night sky. The best time to see them is at midnight on November 13, and with a new moon set to arrive on the same evening, natural light pollution will be kept to a minimum. Up to five meteors are expected each hour, with most emerging near the right-hand prong of the Taurus constellation.
Swiss skies to be lit up with Leonid meteor shower
If five meteors an hour is not enough, you are in luck as the next meteor shower set to arrive in Switzerland, the Leonids, promises to be even more spectacular when it peaks at 5.33am on November 18. This meteor shower is associated with Comet 55P, also known as the Tempel-Tuttle, and gets its name from the Leo constellation.
Up to 15 meteors an hour, visible to the naked eye, are expected to cross the night sky between sunset on November 17 and sunrise on November 18. Luckily, there is not expected to be much natural light pollution, so weather permitting, the shower will be absolutely sensational. In terms of where to look, the shooting stars are expected to radiate from between Algieba and Raselas in the constellation of Leo.
How to best see meteor showers in Switzerland
On the nights, be sure to try and find a place with as little natural and human-made light pollution as possible such as outside cities and on hills, clearings in woodland, and for those who are very lucky, on top of mountains. Sadly, the weather for the peak of the Taurids is not looking ideal at the time of writing, so fingers crossed that things will be clear for the Leonids!