Tonight’s Alpha Monocerotid meteor shower is what some are calling “autumn’s skywatching wildcard.” This meteor shower is expected to dazzle with a rare, brief outburst tonight.
The Alpha Monocerotid (alpha monoceros is Greek for unicorn) meteor outburst has the potential to produce up to 400 meteors an hour.
This meteor outburst happened back in 1995, which was the last time the earth passed through a very narrow debris field from an un-named comet.
But the Alpha Monocerotid meteor shower could be a bust, as well, since this debris field is so very narrow.
This event will take place in about an hour’s time, and our window of opportunity to see it will be very limited. The best time to see it will be between 11 p.m. and midnight this evening, with the peak expected to be around 11:50 p.m.
Look low in the horizon to the east southeast, if the clouds are thin enough overhead, and you are away from the city lights, you may be able to see anywhere from a few shooting stars to up to 400 in a short period of time.
We are expecting to have partly to mostly cloudy skies across north Georgia around this time, so the thickness of the clouds will determine if we have a chance to get a view of this unicorn of a meteor shower.