Two astronomical events – a partial lunar eclipse and the Leonids meteor shower – are likely to be visible in skies this November, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration’s (PAGASA) astronomical calendar.
According to PAGASA, the eclipse will occur on November 19 when the moon partially passes through the umbra of the Earth’s shadow.
This eclipse will be visible in different parts of the world where the moon is above the horizon, including Oceania, the Americas, Eastern Asia, Northern Europe, and Indonesia.
However, in the Philippine setting, the eclipse, which will start at 2:03 p.m. and will end at 8:04 p.m. will be difficult to observe because most of the major eclipse’s phases will occur below the horizon.
“The moon is about to rise at around 5:22 pm which means that by the time the moon reaches 19° above the horizon, the eclipse has already ended,” PAGASA said.
The Leonids meteor shower, on the other hand, will be observed on November 17, starting around 11:47 p.m. until sunrise of November 18 at around 5:58 a.m.
Leonids is an annual meteor shower that occurs when the earth passes the debris left by the comet Tempel-Tuttle, a comet that takes about 33 years to make a complete revolution around the sun.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Leonids are considered to be a major shower with a meteor rate of about 15 meteors per hour. The Leonids are bright meteors and can travel at speed of 44 miles or 71 kilometers per second.
Aside from Leonids, other meteor showers that will peak in the month of November are Northern Taurids on November 12, α-Monocerotids on November 21, and November Orionids on November 28.
PAGASA’s astronomical diary added that in November, a comet named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is forecasted to reach its closest approach to the sun at the distance of 1.21 AU on November 3.
It will be at its brightest on November 7 and will be at the closest approach to the earth at a distance of 0.42 AU on November 13.
The comet will be situated in the constellation Gemini during nearly the first half of the month as it gradually progresses towards the constellation Cancer in the remaining half. The magnitude of this comet is expected to be 8.3.
“Though this comet is relatively dim to be seen by the naked eye, the use of binoculars or small telescopes may help to observe this comet,” PAGASA said.