Stargazers watch peak of Lyrid meteor shower

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 23, 2020   •   627

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

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

Zambales, parts of Pangasinan still under Wind Signal #1 due to TD Butchoy

Marje Pelayo   •   June 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Butchoy maintains its strength while moving west-northwestward over the West Philippine Sea.

As of 7:00 AM Friday (June 12),  the center of TD Butchoy was estimated based on all available data at 50 km West of Iba, Zambales.

It is moving towards the west-northwest direction at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour, packed with maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 70 km/h.

The weather agency PAGASA has lifted Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal #1 over Bataan, Tarlac, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan and some municipalities in Pangasinan.

However, Wind Signal number 1 remains over Zambales and western portion of Pangasinan where  Moderate to heavy with at times intense rains is expected throughout the day.

PAGASA advised residents in affected areas to prepare for possible flashfloods and landslides.

It advises residents to coordinate with local disaster authorities and constantly monitor PAGASA updates for precautionary actions. 

TD ‘Butchoy’ makes landfall over Polillo, Infanta in Quezon – PAGASA

Robie de Guzman   •   June 11, 2020

Tropical Depression (TD) ‘Butchoy’ has made landfall over Polillio and Infanta, Quezon on Thursday afternoon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, And Astronomical Services (PAGASA) said.

In its 8 p.m. severe weather bulletin, PAGASA said ‘Butchoy’ made landfall over Polillo at around 5:30 p.m., and Infanta at six in the evening.

Tropical cyclone wind signal number one remains hoisted over Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, Metro Manila, Nueva Ecija, and the southern portion of Aurora.

Signal number one has also been raised over Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Camarines Norte, and the northern and central portions of Quezon Province.

The state weather bureau said moderate to heavy, and at times, intense rains will be experienced in various areas of Luzon between Thursday night and Friday morning.

PAGASA warned that flooding and rain-induced landslides may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly susceptible to these hazards.

Tropical depression ‘Butchoy’ was last spotted in the vicinity of General Nakar, Quezon.

It is packing maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 75 kilometers per hour as it moves west-northwest at 15 kilometers per hour.

Tropical depression Butchoy is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility by Saturday.

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