A Massive "Unicorn" Meteor Shower Will Light Up BC & Alberta Skies Tonight
Set your alarms and get those eyes to the sky!
As winter begins to set in and the sun is going down a whole lot earlier, you may feel less inclined to spend time outside or stay up late. If you’re willing to venture out just this once, you might catch a history-making natural wonder called a Unicorn meteor shower. Thewill be taking place on the night of Thursday, November 21 and perhaps into the early morning of Friday, November 22.
The formal name of the shower is the "alpha Monocertoid meteor shower." According to the American Meteor Society, past events of this type have occurred in 1925, 1935, 1985, and 1995.
The alpha Monocerotid is nicknamed “unicorn” because “meteors radiate from a faint constellation called Monoceros, which is Greek for unicorn,” stays CTV News. The event will produce up to 400 to 1,000 meteors per hour.
The shower will be especially visible in parts of Alberta such as Edmonton, even more so if the skies are clear. As for Vancouver, it may be more difficult to see as it will be below the horizon.
Still, the sky will be lighting up in unique ways regardless and it is certainly worth seeing. If you really want to catch a glimpse of the meteors in Vancouver, it's suggested that you get as far from city lights as possible.
According to Space.com columnist Joe Rao, the best viewing time will be 11:50 p.m. EST. Stargazers are advised to avoid anything that might obstruct your view of the sky, such as trees and tall buildings.
For those viewing in the Rocky Mountains, the type of meteors you’ll be seeing are called “earthgrazers”. Rao explains that these meteors "skim far across the top of the atmosphere nearly horizontally and leave long, colourful, persistent trains.”
One thing that Rao is very serious about is that you should not be late. “Like previous outbursts, this upcoming display should be very short lived,” he explains.
The entirety of the shower should only last about 40 minutes, with its peak lasting about 15 minutes total. It’s recommended to start observing at 11:30 p.m. EST or 11:15 p.m. if you’re especially eager.
Stargazing is one of the most adorablein the world, so if you've got a special someone, you should probably bring them along.
Or, if you're not feeling the romance, grab awith your friends and have a little star viewing party.
We can't wait to catch this history-making event. Don't forget to tag us in your photos!