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Good news, bad news for Montana stargazers

Upcoming meteor outburst won't be fully visible
Posted: 8:40 PM, Nov 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-21 16:32:20-05

As you may have heard, a "meteor outburst" will be possible around 9:50 pm mountain time on Thursday.

As the Earth passes near the debris field left behind by a passing comet, potentially hundreds of meteors will be visible in parts of the world over a very short period of time.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Montana will be a great place to watch the show.

That's because the radiant point, or the point at which the meteors radiate out from, will be at or below the horizon.

This means as the meteors shoot across the sky the majority are likely to be below the horizon, and therefore not visible to us.

If there is a small silver lining, it's that skies are expected to be clear across most of the state Thursday night, so if any meteors do manage to streak above the horizon, they should be visible, as long as you're in a dark enough place.

It's certainly not ideal viewing conditions, but it might still be worth it to spend a little time outside Thursday night.

If you do plan to try and catch a few of the straggling meteors, head out before 9:50.

The show is likely to last less than an hour.