Meteor showers to dazzle PH skies before 2021 ends

Published November 29, 2021, 5:48 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz


What better way to celebrate the end of the year than wishing upon shooting stars across the sky.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said some meteor shower events can be observed in December, including the stunning Geminids meteor shower–a very rocky and gritty meteor shower that makes it slightly easier to see compared to the other showers.

The Geminid meteor shower, which is produced by the debris left behind by the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, will be active from Dec. 4 to 17 and its peak will occur on Dec. 14, PAGASA said.

During its peak, up to 120 meteor showers per hour can be observed.

“The best time to observe Geminids is around 2 a.m. when its radiant, constellation Gemini, reaches its highest position in the sky,” PAGASA said.

It said that another major meteor shower, the Ursids, will be active from Dec. 17 to 26. The parent body responsible for this shower is the comet BP/Tuttle.

Citing the International Meteor Organization, PAGASA said that around 10 meteors per hour can be observed when its radiant, constellation Ursa Minor, reaches its highest position in the sky before dawn on Dec. 22.

However, the agency pointed out that the presence of the waning gibbous moon may affect the observation of the meteor shower.

Meanwhile, other meteor showers that will be observable in December are classified as either minor or variable meteor showers.

“These meteor showers are visible to the naked eye–no equipment needed. It is ideal to observe from a remote and dark location, away from city lights, under clear sky conditions for the best viewing experience,” PAGASA said.