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Starry, starry nights ahead: February is the ideal month to stargaze, says PAGASA

By Camille Santiago Published Feb 08, 2024 1:46 pm

Stargazing in Metro Manila? It's possible! No need to hike in Mt. Pulag or go to Baler, you can see the constellations wherever you are with the best views on Feb. 15, said weather agency Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration or PAGASA.

According to its February astronomical calendar, February is the "ideal month" to witness the celestial wonders above.

Four northern constellations Auriga, Camelopardalis, Gemini, and Monoceros, and three southern constellations Canis Major, Columbia, and Puppis will hit their peak visibility on Feb. 15 at 9 p.m.

How do you spot them? Auriga is an "easily recognizable" one with a helmet-like shape, Gemini has twin heads called Castor and Pollux, Monoceros is a faint constellation that looks like a unicorn, and Camelopardalis features a long neck like a camel and body with spots like a leopard.

The constellation next to the Orion is the Canis Major. Underneath it is the Puppis, while Columba is located to its south.

Watch out for meteor showers during this month, too. According to PAGASA, the α-Centaurid Meteor Shower will be active from Jan. 31 to Feb. 20, with peak visibility on Feb. 9.

To catch them, PAGASA said: "Meteor showers are best viewed with the naked eye when the radiant point is above the horizon. The number of visible meteors increases as the radiant point moves higher in the sky. For the best viewing experience, find a dark observation site away from the city lights and ensure clear, moonless sky conditions."