November nights for stargazers | Inquirer News

November nights for stargazers

By: - Reporter / @deejayapINQ
/ 08:57 PM November 03, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—The first two nights of November saw millions honoring those laid to rest in the ground, but future evenings of the month will have stargazers glued to the sky, waiting for a glimpse of some heavenly formations.

A splendid W formation of stars known as the constellation of Cassiopeia (the wife of King Cepheus and the mother of Andromeda in Greek mythology), will be visible in the northern horizon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.

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The constellations of Draco or the Dragon, Ursa Minor or the Little Bear, as well as the star clusters representing the mythological figures of Perseus and Camelopardalis will likewise be sighted, according to an astronomical diary prepared by Pagasa Administrator Nathaniel Servando.

The early morning hours of November 18 will also feature one of the most prolific meteor showers known as the Leonids.

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“Its radiance in the constellation Leo and meteors from this shower can be seen over a period of about two days centered on approximately the early morning hours of Nov. 18 in the eastern section of the sky,” Servando said.

But astronomers and experts do not predict many meteors this year, unlike the previous years, he added.

An observer will be able to spot 10 meteors every hour in the late hours of Nov. 17 until dawn, Pagasa said.

The Leonids meteor shower is created by bits of debris left behind by the repeat passages through the inner solar system of the comet “55P/Tempel-Tuttle,” the weather bureau said.

But a type of lunar eclipse known as “penumbral eclipse” will be observable from the Philippines on November 28-29, Pagasa said.

A penumbra refers to a partially shaded outer region of a shadow that an object casts. A penumbral eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the faint penumbral portion of the earth’s shadow.

The lunar surface is not completely shadowed by the earth’s umbra, or the darkest part of a shadow. Instead, observers can see only the slightest dimming near the lunar limb closest to the umbra. The eclipse may be undetectable unless at least half of the moon enters the penumbra.

The eclipse will begin at 8:12 p.m. on November 28 and end on November 29 at 12:53 a.m. (Philippine standard time). It will also be observed in the rest of Asia, Europe, East Africa, Australia, the Pacific and North America, Pagasa said.

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TAGS: constellation, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Meteor Shower, News, Philippine Atmospheric
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