JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A surprise burst of meteors is expected Thursday night across North America, according to a senior NASA scientist. Tonight’s expected meteors are not an annual occurrence, and have only been observed in 1925, 1935, 1985, and 1995. But NASA scientists say that the earth is in the path of the cluster of space dust known as Alpha Monocerotids, which should create a spectacle for Thursday night. The number of shooting stars could be as high as 1,000, though not all will be visible to the human eye.
When to watch? Shooting stars are only expected in a brief window of time lat Thursday evening. The burst will likely occur between 10 PM and 11 PM Central Time, though will likely only last for 15 minutes. Most scientists are recommending setting up outside by 10:15 PM to give your eyes time to adjust and still see the burst.
Where to look? The burst of meteors are expected to come from the fain Monoceros Unicorn constellation. You will want to look east-southeast and near the horizon. The meteor shower radiant is expected to be below the Orion constellation.
Will the skies be clear? Unfortunately, Storm Team 12 is forecast a partly cloudy night for most of Central Mississippi. But, some locations, especially east of I-55, may have some breaks in the clouds.