• Rare 'unicorn' meteor shower could happen tonight

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    The skies could be lit up with a dazzling, rare "unicorn" meteor shower beginning tonight.

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    The alpha Monocerotids showers rarely produce a large meteor shower, but this year could be different, according to Space.com. The alpha Monocerotids produced a brief burst of meteors from the direction of the obscure constellation of Monoceros -- known as the unicorn, the website reported.

    Meteor scientists Peter Jenniskens and Esko Lyytinen predicted an outburst tonight or Friday, depending on a person's location, according to Meteor News.

    The shower could last approximately 40 minutes, with its peak taking about 15 minutes, CNN reported.

    The outburst will happen at 4:50 Universal Time, or 11:50 p.m. EST, CNN reported.

    Jenniskens, a senior research scientist with the SETI Institute and NASA's Ames Research Center, and Lyytinen, of the Finnish Fireball Network, said there was a "small chance" the shower could become "extraordinary," according to Space.com. 

    According to CNN, the places to view the meteor shower will be in eastern North America, South America, western Europe and northwestern Africa.

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