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Geminids to dazzle PH

By Ellalyn V. Ruiz

Amazing streaks of light from the Geminids meteor shower will dazzle the night sky in the country next week.

The falling stars will radiate from the constellation Gemini until Dec. 17 with its peak activity on the night of Dec. 14 until the early morning of Dec. 15, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration said.

Under a dark and cloudless sky and just after midnight of its peak activity, meteors can be seen at an average rate of 40 meteors per hour, it said.

PAGASA said that the Geminids shower is significantly different from other meteor showers as it does not originate from a comet but from an asteroid, the 3200 Phaethon.

It noted that meteors from this shower are very rocky and gritty and slightly easier to see compared to other showers.

These slow-moving meteors were first observed in 1862, much more recent than other showers. It is thought that the showers have been intensifying every year and recent showers have seen 120-160 meteors per hour under optimal conditions, generally around 2 a.m. to 3 a.m.

PAGASA said there will be shooting stars that are big enough to be seen through the naked eye.