Stargazers watch peak of Lyrid meteor shower

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 23, 2020   •   645

People looked up to skies on Wednesday (April 22) to witness the peak of the Lyrid meteor shower.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Lyrids are bright and fast meteors that are active from April 16 to 25 every year.

Several stargazers were able to witness this spectacle while others just enjoyed watching the stars.

“The Lyrid meteor shower has been observed for more than 2,600 years. Chinese records show that ‘stars fell like rain’ during the meteor shower of 687 B.C.,” according to PAGASA.

However, they also reported that in recent times, the Lyrids have generally been weak.

“The shower typically generates a dozen meteors per hour under optimal conditions with a brief maximum that lasts for less than a day,” PAGASA stated. AAC

TD Carina forecast to weaken into LPA as it nears exit

Marje Pelayo   •   July 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression (TD) Carina is forecast to weaken into a low-pressure area (LPA) on Tuesday (July 14) afternoon or Wednesday morning (July 15). 

According to the latest update from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the weather system is seen to move towards the north direction while heading towards the Bashi Channel and the southern portion of Taiwan. 

As of 11:00AM on Tuesday, TD Carina was located at 155km west of Basco, Batanes. 

It is moving toward the northwest direction at 25 km/h packed with maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of 55 km/h. 

PAGASA said tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 (TWCS) remains over Batanes which means isolated light to moderate rains with at times heavy rain showers will prevail today until tomorrow as well as in nearby areas, the Babuyan Islands and Ilocos Norte. 

Metro Manila and the rest of the country, meanwhile, will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers today and tomorrow due to localized thunderstorms. 

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LPA east of Cagayan province develops into TD Carina

Marje Pelayo   •   July 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — At 2:00 am on Monday (July 13), the low pressure area (LPA) spotted east of Cagayan province has developed into tropical depression Carina, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

As of 4:00 AM today, the weather system was located at 315 km East of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan packed with maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 55 km/h. It is moving westward at 20 km/h.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) #1 is raised over the areas of Batanes, Babuyan Group of Islands, and Northern Cagayan specifically Sta. Ana, Gonzaga, Sta. Teresita, Bugey, Eastern Lal-O and Baggao.)

This means moderate to heavy rains will prevail over Babuyan Islands and the eastern section of mainland Cagayan and Isabela. 

Meanwhile, light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, the rest of Cagayan Valley, Aurora, and the northern portion of Quezon including Polillo Islands.

Moderate to rough seas will be experienced over the northern and eastern seaboards of Luzon in the next 24 hours thus small seacrafts are advised not to venture out to sea.

The center of TD Carina is forecast to pass close to the northeastern portion of Cagayan and the Babuyan Islands between tonight and Tuesday morning. 

A landfall scenario over these areas remains likely, according to PAGASA.

Metro Manila, Western Visayas, and the rest of Luzon, meanwhile, will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to the effects of TD Carina.

Mindanao and the rest of Visayas will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers mostly in the afternoon or evening due to localized thunderstorms. 

Lunar Loo Challenge: Design the new toilet for NASA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 30, 2020

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has launched the Lunar Loo Challenge to call on the global community to design compact toilets that can operate in both microgravity and lunar gravity.

The new design may be adapted for use in the Artemis lunar landers as NASA prepares to return to the moon by 2024.

“Although space toilets already exist and are in use (at the International Space Station, for example), they are designed for microgravity only. NASA is looking for a next-generation device that is smaller, more efficient, and capable of working in both microgravity and lunar gravity,” according to NASA.

NASA’s Lunar Loo challenge has a total prize purse of $35,000 that will be shared among the teams submitting the top three designs in the Technical category.

NASA is also encouraging the next generation of space explorers, engineers, and scientists, to also design new concepts through the Junior Category. For all the details, visit https://www.herox.com/LunarLoo. AAC

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