Alpha Centaurids, one of the major Southern Hemisphere meteor showers, is visible from January 28 to February 21.

The meteor shower originates from dust grains ejected from an unknown comet. These tiny dust grains (meteoroids) are distributed along the parent comet’s orbit, concentrated close to the comet nucleus with fewer grains farther away from the nucleus.

The peak occurs overnight on February 8/9th. Although this shower does not produce a lot of meteors – it often has some nice bright fireballs. The predicted rate is about 8 an hour but can reach 25. The shower is known for its bright yellow and blue coloured fireballs that frequently reach negative magnitude.

The Alpha-Centaurids are well known for their long-lasting trains that vary from seconds to several minutes. Since the radiant is above the horizon all night and their activity is spread over such abroad period, observers are sure to catch the odd meteor at any time. However, the Moon will be an issue early in the night as it does not set until after midnight local time.

Figure 3: How to see the Alpha Centaurids on 7/8 February 2022 (image from Stellarium)