It’s not everyday that you get the chance to watch a meteor shower, but if you happen to be looking up at the night sky at 04:50am Universal Time (6:50am Central African Time) you’ll be treated to the awe-inspiring Alpha Monocerotids or ’unicorn meteor shower’ as its more commonly known.
Don’t expect to see a herd of unicorns galavanting among the stars. The event is called unicorn meteor shower because the meteors appear to originate near a star named Procyon, which is located next to the constellation Monoceros, the Greek name for unicorn.
Unfortunately, by the time the meteor shower begins it will already be light in South Africa meaning South Africans won’t be able to watch the meteor shower with their own eyes. They can however watch the event online at virtualtelescope.eu
The current viewing conditions are almost exactly the same as they were back in 1995, when they sky was lit up by 400 meteors per hour, which is approaching meteor storm levels. Because conditions are so similar to that of 1995, scientists expect the meteors to appear in the same number this year.
“Unlike most meteor outbursts, which last for several hours, strong activity from the Alpha Monocerotids is over within an hour and easily missed,” the American Meteor Society said.
Feature image: Pixabay