A heavenly treat for stargazers
in January, says Pagasa

January 4 2016 6:26 PM

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

Filipino stargazers are in for a heavenly treat this January, according to the state-run weather bureau: The Quadrantid meteor shower.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that during the Quadrantid meteor shower, as many as 40 meteors or “falling stars” could be seen per hour.

“The Quadrantid meteor shower hits the Earth’s atmosphere at the rate of about 40 kilometers per second. The incinerated dust are said to be particles apparently derived from the debris ejected by the near-Earth asteroid 2003 EH,” it said.

The shower would have reached its peak between Jan. 3 and 4, but it may continue to be seen until Jan. 7, according to Pagasa.

Equilateral triangle

In January, the equilateral triangle or Winter Triangle rises after sunset. It includes Betelgeuse, the super giant red star of Orion; Sirius, the brightest star in Canis Major; and Procyon, the brightest in Canis Minor.

Planets

From 5 a.m., a conjunction of Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Saturn can be observed above the east-southeastern horizon, and can be “good astronomical targets for astrophotography and telescoping sessions during the month.”

In the middle of January, Mercury joins the group of planets and becomes a “very rare and spectacular display of planetary conjunctions since 2005.”

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