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Thursday meteor shower could produce 400 shooting stars an hour

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A meteor shower is set to occur Thursday night into early Friday morning, with over 400 meteors per hour — but it’s unclear if the shower will be a quick burst of shooting stars for the ages or a bust with just a few meager meteors gliding through the skies above.

The meteor shower is known as the Alpha Monocerotids. The shower gets its name from the Monoceros constellation, which lies southwest of the constellation Orion in the southeast sky.

The radiant, the spot in the sky that the meteors will appear to shoot out of, will be located near the east-southeastern horizon. So you’ll generally want to be looking in that direction and upwards, of course. It’s in the constellation Monoceros (hence the name) and near the bright stars of Procyon and Sirius. Sirius, by the way, is the brightest star in the entire night sky.

Up to 400 meters can be seen within a matter of 30 minutes, according to scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

As in years past, this show is unique in the sense of its uncertainty in regards to peak viewing. In 1995, an outburst of shooting stars led to a magnificent show — but year to year, it’s never clear how many meteors will be visible.

Telescope or a good pair of binoculars are needed to get the best view of the shower. Viewers will want to get out around a half an hour before the peak — around 11:15 p.m. ET to 11:20 p.m. ET, since peak sits somewhere around 11:50 p.m. ET.

If you are on the West Coast start looking up at 8:50 p.m. PST. The best meteor shower viewing will only be for 15 to 40 minutes!

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Contributed by Sean Walton of The Daily Sheeple.

Sean Walton is a researcher and journalist for The Daily Sheeple. Send tips to [email protected]

The post Thursday meteor shower could produce 400 shooting stars an hour appeared first on The Daily Sheeple.

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