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Pagasa: RP’s nights to stay longer starting Sept 24

September 6, 2009 8:43am
The country's nights will now grow longer as the sun nears the celestial equator this month, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.

In its astronomical diary for September, Pagasa said the autumnal equinox will occur on September 23 when day and night will have equal length on Earth.

“The Autumnal equinox occurs on September 23 at 11:19 P.M. (PST) when the Sun’s declination is zero degrees and there are 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night at all points on the Earth’s surface. The noon altitude of the Sun is 90 degrees (the zenith) at the equator and diminishes to zero degrees at the poles," Pagasa said.

Starting September 24 until March 20 next year, nights will be longer than days as the Sun will lie south of the celestial equator.

This will signify the approach of winter for the Northern Hemisphere and summer for the Southern Hemisphere, Pagasa added.

On the other hand, the rich band of constellations and stars along the Milky Way from the constellations Cygnus, the Swan in the north to Sagittarius and Scorpious in the south begin to give way this month to fainter constellations.

Many of these constellations have watery associations such as the constellations of Capricornus, the Sea Goat, Aquarius, the Water Bearer and Pisces the Fish.

The famous Teapot Asterism in the sky in the constellation of Sagittarius can be observed at about 40 to 47 degrees above the southern horizon, an hour after sunset.

Betelgeuse, the super giant red star and the prominent star of the famous constellation Orion, the Mighty Hunter, will be located at about 25 degrees to the upper right of Mars.

Sirius, the brightest star in the sky of the constellation Canis Major (the Big Dog), will be an easy target as it glows below the constellation Orion.

Procyon, the brightest star of the constellation Canis Minor (the Little Dog), can be located at the lower left of Canis Major.

By drawing an imaginary line among the bright stars of these constellations, an equilateral triangle will be formed, which is called the Winter Triangle.

On September 7 at around 4:11 a.m., Mars and Venus will be located at 44 and 9 degrees above the eastern horizon and will be shining at magnitude +0.9, and -3.8, respectively.

Mars will be embedded among the background stars of the constellation Gemini, the Twin, while Venus will be found lingering among the stars of the constellation Cancer, the Crab.

Jupiter and Uranus, which will be shining brilliantly at magnitude -2.8 and +5.7, respectively will be visible throughout the night of the month.

On Sept. 7, the two planets will be located at the constellation of Capricornus, the Sea Goat and Aquarius, the Water Bearer at about 36 and 10 degrees above the east southeastern horizon, respectively.

Saturn and Mercury will be difficult to observe due to their proximity to the Sun. However, they will reappear slowly on the eastern horizon during the last week of the month before sun rises. - GMANews.TV
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