Monthly Meeting Report


April 3, 2004

Article and Images by James Kevin Ty

The ALP held its April  monthly meeting on April 3 at 8pm 040403-a.jpg (31632 bytes)at Alice Villa-Real's residence.  Members who were present on the meeting were James Kevin Ty, Allen Yu, Joel Munoz, Alice Villa-Real, Janice Rochelle Ponce, Jhun Embuido, Dante Cruz, Candy Oliveros and her brother.

The meeting started with dinner being served by members who brought along pot luck food to be shared with fellow ALPers.As they were having dinner, Alice set up his Short Tube 80mm refractor and a pair of 60mm binoculars for the members to use them to observe Jupiter as well as the Moon.

After serving dinner, meeting proper started at 9:30pm 040403-c.jpg (45524 bytes)with Allen Yu giving an overview on how to get started with Messier Marathon.  He also discussed on why Charles Messier catalog the DSOs that he was able to observe to help him to avoid them as Charles was hunting comet.  Nowadays, instead of shying away from these objects, amateur astronomers tend to use the catalog he logged before to observe them one by one. It was also noted by Allen that a typical Messier Marathon can only be performed between the last part of March to the middle of April only as it is only during this period can an avid observer be able to   observe the entire Messier list in one night from dusk till dawn.

Afterwards, James Kevin Ty give a basic lecture on to get started with digital astrophotography.  He first started out by telling the members the advantages and disadvantages of digital cameras compared to the vintage film based cameras. He also give some hints on what to look for when buying a digital camera with the intention to use as astro imaging platform. This was followed by him on what objects that were best suited to image with a compact digital camera.  Some of the objects he mentioned that are easy targets for compact digital cameras are the Moon, double stars, Sun (with proper filtration of course!), constellation, etc.  He also give me short intro on the other type of digital camera, the more expensive digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) Camera, the big brother of the compact digital camera.

040403-e.jpg (39191 bytes)He then discuss what type of adapters were to be used by digital astrophotographers to attached their cameras to their telescopes.  Also explained were some basic accessories needed such as digi-t adapters, cable release both electronic and home made ones. He then compare the pro and cons of compact digital camera against its bigger brother DSLR.  Computations on how to get proper exposures as well as determining the effective afocal focal length with a given camera-eyepiece and optical zoom combo was described in detail by him.

Afterwards, ALP welcomes Ms. Candy Oliveros as the 29th member of the society.  After hearing the lectures made by Allen and James tends to make her believe that ALP is the right society for her to join to get to know more of practical aspect of astronomy.

The meeting ended at around 11:30pm.  The next monthly meeting will be held again at Alice's residence on May 1, 2004.  See you all there again!




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2003 , 2004 Astronomical League of the Philippines Inc.