Filipinos can watch 50 Perseids meteors per hour in Philippine skies as the famous meteor shower peaks this mid-August.
The celestial event, dubbed as the “best meteor shower of the year” by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Meteor Watch, is famed for its very fast and bright meteors, frequently leaving long “wakes” of light and color behind them as they streak through Earth’s atmosphere.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the famous Perseids meteor shower will be best observed with its peak in the late evening and early morning hours of August 12 to 13. On its peak nights, it may produce at least 50 meteors per hour.
The waxing gibbous Moon may interfere with the observations of fainter meteors, but you should still be able to see a few brighter ones, including the occasional “fireball.”
Should clear sky conditions prevail, stargazers are in for a spectacular sky show this month. August is also the most popular time of the year to observe meteor showers, PAGASA adds.
Meteors are easiest to observe without light pollution. The skies should be clear and moonless.
The Perseids meteor shower radiates out from the constellation Perseus, which is located on the eastern horizon during August.
Here’s how to watch the most popular meteor shower of the year, according to NASA.
- Stargazers should pick a good observing spot away from any bright lights. NASA reminds enthusiasts that no special equipment is needed to observe the Perseids. Telescopes or binoculars are not recommended. It’s also safe to view them with the naked eye. Simply lay on your back, and look up!
- Meteors can generally be seen all over the sky, so you need not worry about looking in any particular direction.
- How can you tell if you’ve seen a Perseid? If you see a meteor try to trace it backwards. If you end up in the constellation Perseus, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a Perseid. NASA adds that the Perseids are some of the fastest meteors viewers will see.
- The space authority also discourages the use of your mobile phone or gadgets while skywatching. Looking at devices with bright screens will negatively affect your night vision. Remember to let your eyes become adjusted to the dark for about 30 minutes – this enables you to spot more meteors in the night sky!
The Southern Delta Aquarids meteor shower in July preceded the Perseids. If you missed this meteor shower in its peak, you could still look for the Delta Aquarids again during the Perseids this month.
Our night sky has been dazzling stargazers recently. The Milky Way galaxy was clearly sighted in Philippine skies just last month.
The magnificent and rare Comet NEOWISE was also seen in Philippine skies in July.
TELL US in the comments below about your experience in watching the Perseids Meteor Shower of August!
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