(Accuweather) – This is not a typical meteor shower. On Thursday night, stargazers may see several meteors per second during a rare event known as a meteor storm.
There is a possibility that the upcoming alpha monocerotide meteor shower will become an all-rounder meteor storm on the night of November 21, according to Esko Lyytinen and Peter Jenniskens, two meteorologists who studied the meteor shower.
There is no guarantee that such an event will unfold, but Lyytinen and Jenniskens say that there is a "good chance" that this will trigger the first alpha monocerotid meteor storm since 1
Advertisement – Story continues at
The Meteors Flood
It is extremely important to know when to look for the potential meteor storm.
"Unlike most meteorite outbreaks, which last several hours, the strong activity of alpha-monocerters is within an hour and easily missed," said the American Meteor Society (AMS) on its website.
The eruption is expected to peak around 23:50. EST on 21 November, according to the AMS.
Viewers should start searching for falling stars around 11pm. EST and continue to search until midnight for the best chance to see the potential meteor storm. If you are not outside during this window, you may miss the heavenly light show altogether.
"These meteors are never evenly distributed, but appear in bundles, so that 2-3 meteors can be seen every few seconds and then a minute can pass without activity," said the AMS.
What exactly is a & # 39; meteorite storm & # 39;
We've all heard of meteor showers that were triggered when the Earth flew through an abandoned field of debris, an asteroid or comet.
"[I] If the dust trail is small and dense, the resulting meteor shower can cause hundreds or even thousands of meteors to burn in just a few minutes," the National Weather Service (NWS) explained.
"When this scenario occurs, the meteor shower is referred to as a meteor storm," added the NWS.
One of the most prolific meteor storms in recorded history occurred on November 17, 1966, when viewers watched 40 meteors per second or 144,000 meteors per hour AMS.
Outbreak of Unknown Origin
The Alpha-Monocertides are a mysterious meteor shower because scientists are not sure when it started or what caused it.
"Outbreaks are caused by the dust released by a long-standing comet, but the comet itself is still unknown," Lyytinen and Jenniskens explained.
Despite these uncertainties, one thing is certain: the meteors radiate from the weak Monoceros constellation, which is Greek for unicorn and is located directly to the left of the well-known constellation Orion.
Contrary to popular belief, shooting stars can be seen in much of the night sky, not just near the constellation Einhorn, as long as the sky is not obscured by clouds.
The best visibility for the alpha monocerotide meteor shower is expected in the west and north of the United States with only a few clouds in the forecast.
Reaching the storm will spread clouds across much of the southern and eastern US as well as eastern Canada.
Clouds are also predicted across much of Alaska and Hawaii.
Stargazers should keep in mind that there is a chance that the meteor storm will not occur.
Even if the eruption does not unfold, according to AMS up to 10 "sporadic" meteors per hour are to be seen.
Also, the moon will not rise until about 3 o'clock local time, which means that the shower is not being challenged by the biggest source of natural light pollution.
When the predicted meteor storm breaks out, only the fifth known alpha monocertide outbreak is recorded. The previous occurrences were recorded in the years 1925, 1935, 1985 and 1995.