Rare “unicorn” meteor storm possible Thursday night

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The skies of Middle Georgia could be graced with 100’s of meteors an hour on Thursday night amid what experts are referring to as a meteor storm.

The alpha Monocerotid meteor shower will be peaking on Thursday Nov. 21. While there are no guarantees of how many meteors we will see, it is possible that this will be an impressive showing with the potential to see several meteors per minute.

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What is a meteor storm?
Per Accuweather, “We have all heard of meteor showers, sparked when the Earth passes through a field of debris left behind by an asteroid or comet.

‘[I]f the dust trail is small and dense, then the resulting meteor shower may result in hundreds, or perhaps even thousands of meteors burning up in just minutes,’ the National Weather Service (NWS) explained.

‘If this scenario happens, that the meteor shower is referred to as a meteor storm,’he NWS adds”.

The title “unicorn” meteor shower comes from the constellation Monoceros (Greek for unicorn), as that is where the meteors are likely to radiate from. It is located just to the left of Orion.

When is the best viewing?
As far as timing on the meteor shower, we should be able to see a few meteors starting at around 11 pm. The peak of the meteor storm is expected around 11:50 pm Thursday.

Visibility (as of Wednesday night) looks to stay good across Middle Georgia, and to help with visibility the moon is not expected to rise until 3 am Friday.

For best viewing move out of light polluted (urban) areas and look to the East South East near the horizon.

For more information on the potential meteor storm: https://www.accuweather.com/en/space-news/unicorn-meteor-storm-to-be-triggered-by-mysterious-comet-thursday-night/629937