Pagasa: Meteor shower in October expected to delight skywatchers

October 1 2015 1:02 PM

(photo courtesy of timeanddate.com)
(photo courtesy of timeanddate.com)

A meteor shower is expected to delight skywatchers in October, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.

In a post on Thursday, October 1, on its astronomical diary, Pagasa said the Orionids meteor shower would be active from Oct. 17 to 25.

Skywatchers can expect a peak of 15 meteors per hour under favorable sky conditions, though there may be lulls during the peak nights between Oct. 21 and 22.

Constellations

Also, Pagasa said the Square of Pegasus, four stars of nearly equal brightness — Scheat, Alpheratz, Markab and Algenib in Andromeda and Pegasus — would be visible after sunset.

Pagasa said the appearance of the four stars could be a sign of the arrival of the northern fall.

Also visible during October is the Andromeda galaxy, the closest large spiral galaxy to the Milky Way.

“Under clear skies and with the aid of a star map and familiarity with the surrounding background stars, it can be seen as an elongated misty patch with the naked eye and can be easily viewed through binoculars and telescopes,” Pagasa said.

Meanwhile, Cassiopeia and Pisces are visible as well, while the “Winter Triangle” rises after midnight.

The triangle includes Betelgeuse, the super giant red star of Orion; Sirius, the brightest star from Canis Major; and Procyon, from Canis Minor.

Planets

Venus, Mars and Jupiter may be observed before sunrise at the start of October.

They can be seen among the background stars of Leo during the month, and will get near each other as days pass.

Saturn can be observed 32 degrees above the west-southwestern horizon after sunset at the star of October, glowing at magnitude +0.6 and lying among the stars of Libra.

Neptune and Uranus will be located 42 and 29 degrees above the east-southeastern horizon and will lie among the background stars of Aquarius and Pisces.

Modest-sized binoculars or a telescope and a star map may be needed to view these planets under dark and clear sky conditions.

Meanwhile, Mercury hides from the Suns’ glare throughout October.

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