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11/21/2019 – Ephemeris – There may be a chance to see a meteor storm late tonight

November 21, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, November 21st. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 22 minutes, setting at 5:09, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:48. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 2:39 tomorrow morning.

Tonight we might be in for a treat it it is clear: a meteor storm. It comes from a very minor meteoroid stream called the Alpha Monocerotids. That means the meteors will appear to come from the constellation of Monoceros the unicorn, just east of Orion. Don’t worry about that. At the predicted peak time 11:50 p.m. (04:50 UTC November 22) the meteors will appear to come from the east, but appear all over the sky. Predictions of this sort are tricky since members of the meteor stream can only be tracked as they burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. This shower had meteor storms in 1925, 1935, 1985, and 1995. In 1985 there was an outburst at a rate of 700 meteors an hour. The storm is expected to last less than an hour.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Alpha Monocerotis Radiant at 11:30 p.m. 11/21/2019

Alpha Monocerotis radiant at 11:30 p.m. November 21, 2019. Note the word alpha is replaced by the Greek letter α. The other shower radiant the seen, the November Orionids is another minor shower which will reach peak on the 28th with an estimated 3 meteors an hour. The normal rate for the α-Monocerotids is 5 an hour. Click on the image to enlarge.  Created using Stellarium.

Online sources:  Bad Astronomer Phil Plait – https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/will-the-unicorn-give-us-a-meteor-storm-on-november-22;  here’s another source: https://www.meteornews.net/2019/11/06/likely-alpha-monocerotids-amo246-outburst-on-the-morning-of-november-22-2019/.