Stargazing Report


November 27-28, 2004

by James Kevin Ty

Images by James Kevin Ty


Last November 27, a group of ALPers consisting of 041127-j.jpg (29001 bytes)James Kevin Ty, Allen Yu, Alice Villa-Real, Rich Pijuan, Lea Visaya, Mac Libid, Jhun Embuido, John Lawrence Uy, Dante Noche, and Hans Gideon Cerdenia, staged an overnight stargazing session at the school grounds of Quezon City Science High School (QCSHS).  The group meet there at around 7:00pm and started setting up their equipments before having a light dinner prepared by the school courtesy of our school host, Mr. Tanny Almendarez.  A total of 7 telescopes were brought by ALPers.  James brought along his TV-101 refractor on Vixen GP-DX mount ;  Allen brought along 2 scopes: 80mm Orion ED refractor on EQ-3 mount and a 6" f/8 dobsonian reflector ; Alice with Elisha (Nexstar 5) ; Dante with this 8" f/7 Discovery dobsonian reflector ; John Lawrence with his Celestron C8 on CG-5 mount and last but not the least, Mac with his Meade ETX70 refractor.

041127-l.jpg (21445 bytes)The program started with Sir Tanny introducing ALP president James Kevin Ty to the students. James then give a short overview of what objects the group  are going to show to the students during the night.   Afterwards, he introduced each ALP members present to the crowd. After the short formalities, James then introduced Allen to the students as he is the speaker of the night and his topic was on how to oberve the Moon and identify the prominent lunar features.It was an educational lectures as students got to know the main features they would be observing later in the field.  Allen help the students get the details of the lunar features with the use of a giant lunar map brought along by James.

After some rest after the meeting, the stargazing session started with long queues as the students line up to get their chance to observe the Moon, some of the scopes showed a full disk Full Moon while other scopes , on the other hand showed the students some medium magnification of the Moon to show some of the main features that Allen discussed to them a while ago.

As they were observing , clouds covered parts of the 041127-m.jpg (30174 bytes)sky and the Moon was playing hide and seek  behind the clouds with the group. At around 11:00pm, the magnificent ringed planet Saturn was now well placed above  the eastern horizon for ALPers to point some of the scopes to this beauty.  The students observed the ringed planet with awe and excitement as some of them have just observe Saturn for the first time with some good equipment that show superior images of the ringed planet.   Mac, show the students with a low power view of Saturn with some of its satellites or moons visible in the same field of view such as Titan.

In between  the time till 3:30am, pestering clouds comes and goes as they waited patiently and observe the sky through large openings in the sky. During that time, they also showed the students some DSOs such as the Orion Nebula, Pleiades star cluster, M41, Hyades star cluster, double stars Rigel &  Castor, bright stars Sirius & Canopus, etc.

James on the other hand, also  located the 2 comets namely 2004 Q2 Machholz, and 2003 K4 Linear with this 4" refractor  under the hazy and light polluted skies of Quezon City.  They were seen as faint blobs.   Eventhough the view of the comet was not impressive, members of ALP as well as students also lined up to get some glimpse of the 2 comets nevertheless.

When Jupiter have risen to about 15 degs above the eastern horizon, scopes were trained to the Jovian planet which showed as well the 4 Jovian satellites namely, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

The observing session ended at  around 5am with observation of the brilliant planet Venus, which  showed a +/- 85% phase.   Before the group started packing their equipment, they posed for a posterity shot before heading home satisfied as they were able to share the beauty of the heavens to the students of QCSHS.

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For more activity images, click here.



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2003 , 2004 Astronomical League of the Philippines Inc.