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ANTIPOLO (Best place to watch ‘spectacle’ of the sky)
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: *
Date: 2006-11-16
For astronomers and lovers of the ‘space, sky and stars,’ the month of November is special because of a "must see" spectacle - the Leonids Meteor Shower. This phenomenon can be seen best on the night of Nov. 17 and 18, Friday to Saturday.

"As with all meteor showers, the Leonids are caused by the debris of a particular comet. In this shower, we’ll be seeing debris from Comet Temple-Tuttle, a comet that orbits the sun every 33 years," said Ramon Acevedo, in-house astronomer of Seven Suites Hotel Observatory, the only hotel-cum-observatory in the country.

"What’s special about this event is the presence of meteor storms (very intense meteor showers) which usually coincides with the passage of its parent comet," said Ramon noting that the last passage of the comet was in 1998.

It was in 2001 when the shower’s peak was centered over Southeast Asia including the Philippines and the number of meteors falling were staggering. "There was about 1 to 2 meteors falling per second and it lasted for the duration of the night," enthused Ramon.

The best opportunity to see the Leonids is to go on a location with the lowest pollution because pollution can interfere with the visibility of the meteor shower. City lights can also limit the visibility of the falling meteoroids, that’s why it is recommended that the best place to see the meteor shower is on a mountaintop or a location of high altitude such as Antipolo.

Seven Suites Hotel Observatory is the perfect venue to see this much-awaited celestial event. Aside from being situated at the quaint and lush foothills of Antipolo, Seven Suites’ telescope intensifies the viewing experience. Ramon would also be on-hand to give guests a lecture and interesting trivia about the Leonids.

"We could get to see about 20-30 meteors per hour in this year’s Leonids. Weather permitting, everyone will enjoy this famous meteor shower," added Ramon.

Seven Suites is all geared up for the Leonids Meteor Shower that will be seen on the dark sky on the eve of Nov. 17. There will be a live acoustic band until 11 p.m. and special cocktails will be served. Meteor shower viewing starts at 10 p.m.

Seven Suites Hotel Observatory, now on its eighth year, is located at Hollywood Hills Subdivision, Sumulong Highway, Antipolo City (across Valley Golf Country Club). It is just 30 minutes away from Cubao or Ortigas and 15 minutes from the Marcos Highway in Pasig.

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