For the 21st of November 2019, astronomers are predicting a rare “unicorn meteor shower” with more than 1.000 meteors per hour. This prediction is contested by other scientists that this a unique event that can be a disappointment at the same time.
An event like this one is happening each year on the 21st of November, and usually, the meteors displayed are a few. The meteor storm is called Alpha Monocerotids, and from time to time, an explosion happens with more than 1.000 pieces.
The Alpha Monocerotids happened back in 1925, 1935, 1985, and 1995. Peter Jenniskens and Esko Lyytinen, who work as meteor scientists, are saying that 2019 could be the year that the Alpha Monocerotids is happening again. Both scientists know that the phenomenon is oscillating, so the possibility is to see around one hundred per hour, or even to grow the level to 1.000 per hour.
Besides that, the meteor shower is clear and pleasant to observe when the sky is clear. And you, as a stargazer, are having a good view in all directions and above. Researchers are also saying that the glow of the meteor shower is not high in the sky, but because it will happen when the sun is setting, the level of meteorites can below.
Rare Unicorn Meteor Shower Happens Today
On the other hand, this event, like many others, has skeptics that aren’t convinced about the explosion of meteors. For example, Bill Cooke, who is the lead of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, is saying that the meteor shower would not be explosive or not that spectacular as everyone is saying.
His skepticism is coming from the fact that our planet isn’t forced to pass through the heart of the Alpha Monocerotid stream. The idea of Earth passing forced through the AMOs between 1925 and 1935 isn’t coming with proof.
Finally, the Alpha Monocerotids is coming from Monoceros constellation, which translates from Greek as a unicorn. The meteor storm will start around 11:15 P.M ET, and it has a duration between 15 to 40 minutes. If you want to catch the meteorites rain, take note to go with one hour before the predicted time.