Spectacular meteor shower expected Dec. 13-14
Manila, Philippines – One of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year promises not to disappoint Filipino viewers this month.
The prominent Geminids meteor shower can be seen at an average rate of 40 meteors per hour during its peak from early evening of Dec. 13 to early morning of Dec. 14, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
“Under a dark and cloudless sky and just after midnight of its peak activity, meteors or ‘falling stars’ can be seen at an average rate of 40 meteors per hour,” PAGASA OIC Administrator Dr. Vicente Malano said.
“The shower will appear to radiate from the constellation of Gemini,” he added.
He explained that Geminids is different from other meteor showers as the former does not originate from a comet but from an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon.
“Meteors from this shower are very rocky and gritty and slightly easier to see compared to the other showers,” Malano said.
PAGASA said there will be shooting stars big enough to be seen through the naked eye.
This month, the red planet Mars will rise an hour after midnight in early December and will remain visible in the early morning sky, Malano also said.
Saturn will be rising an hour before sunrise and will be visible in the early morning twilight during the month, while Mercury will also be found low in the eastern horizon before sunrise during the first week of the month until it will no longer be visible for observation due to its proximity to the sun.
The brightest planet Venus will be seen in the southwestern sky after sunset.
Meanwhile, Neptune and Uranus will be found above the sky after sunset and can be observed with the aid of modest sized telescopes and binoculars under clear skies with the aid of a star map.
Jupiter will rise after 8 p.m. in early December and will be visible throughout the month in the eastern part of the sky.