ALP Monthly Meeting Report


January 9, 2005

Text and Images by James Kevin Ty


Last January 9, ALPers have their first meeting 050109-d.jpg (85569 bytes)for the year 2005  at Alice's residence.  Members who were present were James Kevin Ty, Allen Yu, Francisco Lao, Jr. , Jon Alcartado, Dante Cruz, Oscar Lei, Edmund Rosales, Lea Visaya, Rich Pijuan, Henry So, and Jett Aguilar .  ALP also would like to welcome the company of American amateur astronomer Scott Feeken, who will be joining ALP as a member as he wants to be with in the company of amateur astronomers locally  who are into visual and imaging field of astronomy.  He was able to check out the local astronomy clubs here in the Philippines and decided to join ALP because the organization is very active.

The meeting started at around 3:15pm with  some informal introduction of the members present so that Scott will feel more comfortable and also get to know the guys at ALP :)  After the introductions, ALP president James Kevin Ty then updates the group with the current status of the brightening comet, 2004 Q2 Machholz which had just passed a few degrees away from the bright and popular galactic star cluster M45 Pleaides last January 7th  and 8th.  The comet was magnitude 4.1 during the passage near the cluster.  He also invited ALPers to attend January 15th stargazing session at TGPM, Buso-Buso, Antipolo.  Meeting place will be at McDo Katipunan at around 4:30pm.

050109-e.jpg (66102 bytes)Afterwards, James asked the members to share their images, sketches as well as reports at the meeting.  Budding astrophotographer Jett Aguilar forst presented to the members his short powerpoint presentation of a short history of Comet 2004 Q2 Machholz as well as its discoverer, Donald Machholz.  After the educational presentation, James also showed his comet images to the group.  His January 7th image using a 320mm  lens showed the comet and the Pleiades star cluster both in the same frame.  The comet's ion tail can be faintly seen to extend to about 4 degrees toward the star cluster.  His January 8th image on the other hand at the same site showed a much shorter tail maybe about  2 degrees long only.  Francisco Lao and James had theorized that maybe there is a tail disconnection event that might had happened in between his 7th and 8th image that result to the much shorter ion tail on his Jan 8th image.

Lea Visaya also presented her sketches of the comet and her Jan 7th sketch also made at Buso-Buso showed almost the same details as that of James' image with 320mm lens.  That speaks of how she is improving in her skills in getting delicate details by constantly sketching and observing the comet.  That should encourage fellow ALPers to also sketch their observations to improve their visual skills.

The meeting ended at around 5:00pm with a group shot to star off the 2005 with a bang.

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