Meteor showers to light up October skies, weather permitting
Stargazers are in for a treat this week, that is, if the skies clear up.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), the October meteor shower Orionids will be active from Oct. 17 to 25, with “peak nights” on Oct. 21 to 22.
“At maximum rates, the shower may reach 15 meteors per hour that may be observed at favorable sky condition,” usually after midnight and before dawn, the Pagasa said in its October astronomical diary.
The Orionid shower becomes visible in the night skies as the Earth passes through the stream of debris left behind by the Halley’s Comet.
The shower is called Orionids because the meteors seem to radiate from the constellation Orion, particularly north of the Betelgeuse star, the second brightest star in the constellation. it is named after a Greek mythology hunter.
The locations of the Betelgeuse and Bellatrix stars on the constellation seems to depict Orion’s shoulders.
The Pagasa, however, said there may be “lulls” in the shower even during the peak nights.
This year, watching the meteor shower may be made more difficult in certain areas by cloudy skies brought by weather disturbances.
According to the Pagasa’s weekly outlook, on Tuesday and Wednesday, Mindanao will have cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to the trough of a low pressure area (LPA) from the Pacific Ocean which is expected to enter the eastern border of the Philippine area of responsibility today.
On Thursday, the LPA expected to be east of Mindanao by the time is forecast to intensify into a tropical depression while another LPA is expected to develop over the West Philippine Sea.
“These two weather systems will bring cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms over Visayas and southern Luzon,” the Pagasa said in its outlook.
Even as the forecast tropical cyclone moves away from the country on Friday, the possible LPA over the West Philippine Sea is still expected to bring cloudy skies over the western section of southern Luzon and Visayas.
On these four days, Metro Manila and the rest of the country are likewise expected to have partly cloudy to cloudy skies apart from isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.
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