No more fireworks? Quadratinid meteor shower to light up nights

Kim Arveen Patria
Kim Arveen Patria
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom
Astrophotographer Jeff Berkes took this photo of the Quadrantid meteor shower on Jan. 4, 2012.

The fireworks that lit up the sky on New Year's Eve have already expired, but Pinoys may still get to see a spectacle in the nighttime sky during the first week of the year.

With the weather permitting, state astronomers said "falling stars" may be seen from the Philippines from the start of the year until Jan. 7.

"The annual Quadrantid meteor shower will be active from January 1 to January 7," Pagasa administrator Nathaniel Servando said.

Related story: 'Daytime comet' to arrive this year

It peaks Jan. 3 and 4, with falling stars seen at the rate of at least 40 meteors per hour.

"Meteors from the Quadrantid meteor shower hit the Earth’s atmosphere at the rate of about 40 kilometers per second," Servando said.

This, as the Pagasa chief noted that the meteors are said to be particles from debris ejected by the near-Earth asteroid 2003 EH1.

NASA meanwhile said that the EH1 asteroid may have come from a piece of comet that broke up several hundred years ago.

Related story: Comet may outshine the moon 

Meteor shower viewing, however, may be interrupted by the waning gibbous Moon on Jan. 3, Servando said.

Aside from the Quadrantid meteor shower, Pagasa has highlighted other treats for Pinoy stargazers this January.

These include the rise of the "famous equilateral triangle after sunset."

The Triangle is composed of Betelgeuse, the prominent star of the famous constellation Orion (The Mighty Hunter); Sirius, the brightest star in the sky of the constellation Canis Major (the Big Dog); and Procyon, the brightest star of the constellation Canis Minor (the Little Dog).