Your Year-Round Guide for Stargazing in the Philippines
It isn’t exactly easy to go stargazing in Manila, where our view of the skies is usually hindered by light pollution and smog. Driving out of town to catch a meteor shower can be an unforgettable experience and luckily, we get lots of chances every year. That’s why we’ve come up with a stargazing calendar to help you plan ahead.
Take note that while meteor showers usually appear around the same time every year, you should check PAGASA’s forecasts to see exactly when they’ll be at their peak, and whether your view will be obstructed by clouds, rain, or even bright moonlight.
That said, given the right conditions, you can actually see a shooting star or two every night, if you look long enough and if the conditions are right. These random falling stars are called sporadics.
“Although not all of the meteor showers you read are worth a sleepless camp, the few sporadic meteors and thousands of ‘non-falling’ real stars and planets in a dark night sky will always be worth it,” says Paeng Chu, a member of the Philippine Astronomical Society (PAS).
The Philippine Astronomical Society holds several stargazing events every year. This November, they’re hosting an overnight camp to view the Leonids meteor shower at Big Handy’s Grounds, Rizal. Their slots run out pretty quickly, so better sign up soon if you’re interested in joining them.
Peaks around: November 17-18
A meteor during the peak of the 2009 Leonid meteor shower
Peaks around: December 13-14
Geminids meteor shower in the northern hemisphere
Peaks around: April 21-22
Peaks around: May 6-7
Peaks around: August 11-12
A Perseid meteor in 2007
Peaks around: October 21-2
A multicolored Orionid