Stargazers will have a treat next week as the Orionids meteor shower will be visible over the Philippines — cloud cover permitting.
The celestial light show will continue from Tuesday, October 17, until Wednesday the following week. The phenomenon is caused by the earth passing through dust released by Halley’s Comet.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the Orionids meteor shower will be at its peak on Saturday and Sunday, October 21-22.
Pagasa said the Orionids could reach up to 15 meteors per hour.
The meteors are visible to the east in the early evening and move gradually to the west as the sun rises.
Pagasa also said that the square of Pegasus, an asterism of the constellation of Andromeda, the “chained maiden,” which is made up of four stars of nearly equal brightness takes centre stage in the Philippine night sky after sunset.
This is a sign of the arrival of the northern fall, or autumn, and the official end of summer.
Northeast of it lies the Andromeda galaxy, the closest large spiral galaxy to the Milky Way galaxy.
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.
Likewise, the ‘W’ formation of stars known as the constellation of Cassiopeia, lies to the left, while the constellation of Pisces can be found at the lower right of the square of Pegasus.
This month, Pagasa also said that the equilateral triangle in the sky, known as the Winter Triangle rises after midnight.
The triangle is composed of Betelgeuse, the super giant red star and the prominent star of the constellation Orion, Sirius, and Procyon, the brightest star of the constellation Canis Minor.