Meteor shower to be seen Wednesday night | Inquirer News

Meteor shower to be seen Wednesday night

By: - Deputy Day Desk Chief / @TJBurgonioINQ
/ 10:16 PM December 13, 2011

MANILA—Showing on Wednesday night: The Geminids meteor shower.

A spectacular show of colorful shooting stars—at a rate of 40 an hour— would be visible in the night sky starting at around 9:30 p.m. till early Thursday morning, astronomers said on Tuesday.

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“The small ones will whiz by in split seconds; the big ones in over a second. They’re like fireballs, and come in different colors. That makes it spectacular,” said Dario dela Cruz, chief of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s space sciences and astronomy section.

The meteor shower, visible to the naked eye, could be observed initially in the eastern sky, then overhead, and in the western sky, he said.

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And unlike previous meteor showers, stargazers will have a clearer view on Wednesday night. Weathermen forecast clear night skies, except for some cloudiness in the northern section.

At their peak, the meteors will rain down at a rate of 40 per hour in a dark and cloudless sky. A gibbous moon, however, could make it difficult for spectators to observe the small ones, according to Dela Cruz.

The phenomenon is referred to as the Geminids because they appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini, the Twins.

Meteor showers are the icy stream of debris shed by comets as they orbit the sun. When the Earth travels through this stream, meteors appear to fall from a particular place in the sky.

Meanwhile, the country will experience its longest night on Dec. 22, according to Pagasa.

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TAGS: Meteor, Meteor Shower, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Space Administration (PAGASA), The Geminids
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