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Sky dazzler on Friday

With clear skies, skygazers may be able to see shooting stars starting before dawn on Friday.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration, the Eta Aquarid meteor shower is the first of two showers that occur each year as a result of the Earth’s passing close to the orbit of Halley’s Comet twice a year.

It added that the point from where the meteors appear to radiate is located within the constellation Aquarius.

PAGASA noted that the radiant of the meteor shower will virtually lie on the celestial equator and is most favorable to Southern Hemisphere viewers.

It said that in the Northern Hemisphere, about 20 or more meteors per hour at the pre-dawn sky of May 6 may be seen.

PAGASA advised the public that the meteor shower is best observed just a few hours before dawn.

At around 4 a.m. on May 20, Uranus will be located 10 degrees above the east-northeastern horizon and will be residing at the background stars of the constellation Aries.

Mercury will be found low in the west-northwestern horizon after sunset during the first week as it continues to slide down the horizon and reappears on the morning sky in the east northeastern horizon on the last week of the month. (Ellalyn B. de Vera)