April 22, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Thursday said the peak of the annual Lyrids meteor shower is happening tonight.
Renato de Leon, weather specialist of the PAGASA’s Astronomical Observatory, said the Lyrids could produce 10 to 20 meteors per hour during peak time, which is from 11 p.m. of April 22 until 4 a.m. of April 23.
De Leon said the Lyrids’ meteors are usually in bright white, yellowish, and bluish colors.
“Itong Lyrids ay isa sa mga prominent meteor showers na nangyayari taon-taon,” he said.
“Maganda talaga ito i-observe dahil ang mga shooting stars nito ay madalas maliliwanag at hindi lang puti o yellow ang kulay, minsan may pagka-blue din,” he added.
De Leon said the meteor shower could be observed throughout the country.
He said observers could simply head outside, away from streetlights and other sources of lights, and look at the sky.
However, he noted that the full moon might interfere with this year’s meteors viewing.
De Leon said the glare from the full moon will reduce the number of visible meteors by half.
“Iyong maliliit na meteors posibleng hindi na natin makita iyon dahil sa liwanag ng buwan. Iyong malalaki na lang,” he said.
De Leon noted that the annual Lyrids meteor shower occurs between April 16 and 25 caused by pieces of debris from the Comet Thatcher.
According to PAGASA, Lyrids are known to produce bright, fast-moving meteors with about 15 percent leaving behind persistent smoky trails that are clearly visible for a few minutes afterward.
Considered the oldest known meteor shower since it has been observed for more than 2,600 years, Chinese records showed that “stars fell like rain” during the Lyrids meteor shower in 687 B.C.
But in recent times, PAGASA said the Lyrids have generally been weak.
The Lyrids were named after the constellation Lyra, which lies in the northern sky. – AIB