Stargazing Report


December 4-5, 2004

Text and Images by James Kevin Ty

Last December 4, a group of ALPers consisting of James 041204-f.jpg (71494 bytes)Kevin Ty , Allen Yu, Joel Munoz, Jett Aguilar, Dante Cruz, Mac Libid and new ALP member Raymund Sarmiento went to TGPM at Buso-Buso , Antipolo to have any session of stargazing.

Raymund brought along his new toy, a 10" Hardin Dobsonian reflector to observe with the group.  After some informal introductions and   getting to know the guys , he immediately join ALP as he is looking forward   to be observing with a group of serious observers that can teach him the ins and outs of serious visual observations.

After having their delicious dinner there courtesy of TGPM, the group went up the hill to set up their scopes.  James brought along his usual setup, a 4" f/5.4 apochromat refractor TV-101 on Vixen GP-D mount; Allen with his Orion 80mm f/7.5 ED refractor on EQ-3 mount; Jett with his 8" f/10 C8 on Vixen GP-D mount ; Joel Munoz with his 8" f/6 homemade truss design dobsonian reflector ; Mac with his Meade ETX-70 refractor ; Dante Cruz brought along his binoculars as well as some ALPers too.

Jett setup his astrophoto system and was starting to 041204m31-d.jpg (68385 bytes)calibrate his scope to image M31, the great Andromeda Galaxy.  He uses a Canon EOS 300D  for his imaging system like what James is using.  After a few calibrations, he was already starting to get some decent images which were being flashed into the LCD screen of his laptop computer.  He was very excited and was very busy staring at his computer.

James also started to setup his system and due to stress drop his counterweight shaft lock into the long grassy field and it took him some time to find it with the help of eagle eyed Mac who found it with ease :)  Thanks Mac!   After those loose ends, he started to image as well.

Over at the other side of the field are Allen and Joel who have alread setup their equipment earlier than Jett and James :)  Mac was asking Joel if he was able to observe M1 Crab Nebula and Joel nodded and pointed his scope toward it.  The view was good and Mac and Dante were all smile after observing it.  

Newcomer Raymund then called the attention of the group to come and look through his 10" dob reflector on M31. Truly, the image of M31 was very good with the galaxy  spiral arm faintly extend to the edge of the field.   He then later observe Saturn and the image was good.  He saw the Cassini ring division easily as well as some other ring system.

041204ngc869_884.jpg (70988 bytes)Allen was supposed to be trying to observe  Sirius B, the faint companion of bright star Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.  But due to the poor seeing that night, he gave up and will try to see it on night of good seeing.

Without noticing it, the dew was heavy that night and Joel was surprised that his secondary mirror was already dewed out!  Luckily his primary havent yet :)  James' refractor even with a long 6" dew cap still got dew too.  He quickly install his homemade dew heater to both his main scope and guidescope but it was already too late as his objectives were already soaking wet.   The same goes to all of others.  So some of them have to point their scope to the ground to slowly remove the dew.  The other scopes that were not dewed were having a great time too, Objects that the group were able to observe were old favorites Double Cluster, Orion Nebula, Pleiades star cluster, M35 star cluster, Auriga  trio   M36, M37 and M38, etc.

James pointed his scope to Comet 2004 Q2 Machholz and 041204comet_machholz_04q2.jpg (36459 bytes)the comet was now a bit brighter than he last observed at Caliraya when it was around mag 7.  Now at mag 5.9, the comet still show a very short tail, He hope in January, the comet's tail will be longer already.

After midnight, fog started to engulf the observing   site and at around 1:30am, they called it a night after clouds covered uo the entire sky :(

For more activity images, click here.

Astrophotos / sketches taken by ALPers at Caliraya , Laguna , click here.

Personal Reports :  Jett Aguilar


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