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TONIGHT: 'Unicorn' meteor outburst

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'Unicorn' meteor storm possible Thursday night--Photo taken by Ed Piotrowski

FLORENCE, S.C. (WPDE) -- A brief and potentially spectacular meteor storm may light up the night sky Thursday night. The "Unicorn" meteor shower that may produce the outburst of activity is formally known as the Alpha Monocerotids. Like all meteor showers, this one gets its name from its radiant point in the constellation Monoceros, which is Greek for "Unicorn".

According to meteor scientists Esko Lyytinen and Peter Jenniskens, up to 400 meteors per hour are possible. While far from a guarantee, they say there's a good chance it will happen.

Unlike most meteor showers that last for many hours, the potential outburst of activity with this shower is short with a duration from as little as 15 minutes to as long as 40 minutes.

The peak of the potential meteor storm is around 11:50 p.m. EST Thursday so experts recommend you get outside by 11:15 p.m EST. Although meteors can be seen in any part of the sky, your best bet is to look east.

Again, there's no guarantee there will be an outburst but there won't be any interference from the moon since it won't rise until after 1 a.m. on the east coast.

If you miss this one, another "Unicorn" meteor storm won't occur until 2043!