If you are a fan of astronomy, you might want to plan on staying-up late Thursday night.

According to some scientists, a meteor storm is possible later this week.

Now, being that I am not a professional astronomer, let me let the folks at AccuWeather describe what could happen Thursday night:

There is a chance that the upcoming alpha Monocerotid meteor shower could turn into an all-out meteor storm on the night of Nov. 21, according to Esko Lyytinen and Peter Jenniskens, two meteor scientists who have been studying the meteor shower.

First things first... what is a meteor storm compared to a meteor shower? A typical "meteor shower" might have a few meteors once and a while. If a large number of meteors streak across the sky, it then becomes a "meteor storm" by definition. Makes sense, right?

Anyway, those two point-out that there is a "good chance" it could happen -- but it's not guaranteed. However, if it does, there are a couple things to know. First, unlike most meteor showers that last for hours, this one will be done in under an hour. This meteor shower/storm will begin around 11:00 PM and peak at about 11:50. Also, if it's as good as they think it could be, you could see several meteors per minute -- but you might see a bunch at once and then nothing for a minute or two.

If you want to do some more reading, AccuWeather has a pretty simple explanation of Thursday night's celestial activity. For a much more in-depth description, Lyytinen and Jenniskens have an article posted on Meteornews.

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