An Alpha Monocerotid meteor photographed on November 8, 2014 by the United Kingdom Meteor Observation Network (UKMON)
I almost can’t believe it will happen. But meteor experts Peter Jenniskens, of NASA’s Ames Research Center, and Esko Lyytinen, of the Finnish Fireball Network, are predicting an intense outburst of the obscure Alpha Monocerotid meteor shower Thursday night, Nov. 21 between 10:15 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. Central Standard Time. The peak, when the shower could produce 400 or more meteors per hour, is expected around 10:50 p.m.
This rare outburst is expected to last between 15 and 40 minutes centered on 10:50 p.m. (11:50 p.m. EST; 9:50 MST, 8:50 PST and 4:50 a.m. Greenwich Time). The shower gets its name from Monoceros the unicorn, a faint constellation located to the left or east of Orion. You didn’t know there was a unicorn in the sky? Maybe not on Earth, but it’s been trotting across the sky since its creation in 1612.
Frank Reed created this easy to use map to check your prospects for seeing the shower outburst. Frank Reed / ReedNavigation.com
Don’t worry about having to actually see a unicorn or even the constellation. All you need to know is that ...