Report: Exceptional meteor shower November 21-22

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Report: Exceptional meteor shower November 21-22
Report: Exceptional meteor shower November 21-22

Peter Jenniskens, SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center, and Esko Lyytinen, Helsinki, Finland, report that there will be a significant return of the alpha Monocerotid meteor shower this year (IAU shower 246, AMO), when Earth will be briefly showered by a stream of meteoroids in the path of an unknown long-period comet.

The shower is exceptional because the whole display will last only 15 to 40 minutes. It is not seen in most other years; the last good display was in 1995. Two years ago, the shower showed dimly over the Arabian peninsula, promising a good display this year.

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This year the shower is expected to show several meteors per minute at the peak, for those that have clear weather, dark skies, and the shower radiant well above the horizon. Meteors will only be moderately bright, most will have the brightness of the stars Polaris and Deneb, based on a past encounter in 1995.

The event is expected on November 22, 2019, centered on 04:50 UTC. The shower is visible in the eastern parts of the USA and southern America on November 21 late evening (23:50 EST), after the radiant (near the star Procyon) rises above the horizon. The shower is not visible at locations further West where Procyon is below the horizon at 04:50 UTC.

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The shower is best seen in western parts of Europe in the early morning hours, just before dawn, where Procyon is high in the sky at that time. The shower is not visible further East where dawn occurs before 04:50 UTC.

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