ALP Stargazing Session Report

 ALP STARGAZING SESSION REPORT

Sta. Rosa Science and Technology High School

January 21-22, 2005

Text & Images by Allen Yu.

 

The Astronomical League of the Philippines members 050121-a.jpg (28183 bytes)went through the extra few miles to conduct a stargazing event for the students and guest students of Sta. Rosa Science and Technology High School.  ALPers Allen Yu, Leah Visaya, Rich Pijuan, Dante Noche, Jon Alcartado, and JosephGutierrez were welcomed by fellow ALP director and Sta. Rosa faculty member Elena Moya at 5:30pm, had some heavy snacks,  then proceeded to a press conference of sorts in welcoming and introducing ALPers and orientation of activities.  The students were later relocated the ground floor field for the lecture-seminar proper.

At 7:30 pm, Elena Moya started  a powerpoint presentation on the history of astronomy for the more than 300 students.   Jon Alcartado commanded attention to the students while discussing the 050121-c.jpg (54219 bytes)different types and workings of the telesope.  It was just fitting to illustrate live, as fellow ALPers Dante Noche and Allen Yu were beside the audience field setting up instruments.  Mr. Dante Noche had it so easy mounting his Discovery 8" Dobsonian-Newtonian telescope, ready to fight anytime.  Allen Yu was scrambling to polar-align the two refractors, 80mm ED and 90mm refractors on separate CG-4 and EQ-3 mounts, sharing one unit power supply, then collimating a truss type 6" f/8 dobsonian-newtonian as well. Later on, Jon fired off some astronomy questions then gave freeware astro cds to the students who can answer correctly.  

Despite some clouds early in the night, the students, teachers, and parents were treated fine views of the ringed planet Saturn, the Moon, in low powers and high powers that gave the feeling of an astronaut floating just above the Moon.  The students lines, although long, gradually digested their numbers that in no time, some were taking double or triple peeks already.  They have to ask the students to take a break, so they themselves can have  a moment of rest as well.

Edmund Rosales, initially coming from Cabanatuan City, 050121-j.jpg (35215 bytes)reached University of the Philippines by 10:45pm, warp-drived the C5, South Super Highway, to reach Sta. Rosa town before 12:00 midnight.  His arrival is certainly most welcomed as students eagerly surrounded him to listen to his constellation stories, using the green laser pointer, and some magic shows. By midnight, the sky was void of clouds.  Jupiter invited viewers to come back to the telescopes, and after another hour of bout with students, most call it a night to stroll freely along the corridors or sleep at their tents.  Still a number became applicants to Edmund Rosales' fans club, as they kept vigil with the maestro till Sun up.  Or just before Sun up, persevering students had their opportunity to see the galaxies M81, M82 through Mr. Noche's  8" scope, whereas the 6" played host to the Whirlpool Galaxy M51.  Both were seen by students with instructions on averted vision. 

The event ended with formal handing out of appreciation certificates to each ALP members and Elena Moya hosting another round of meals, this time with the traditional puto and sunshine kissing their cheeks. They departed Sta. Rosa Science and Technology High School by 8:30am. 

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2003, 2004, 2005  Astronomical League of the Philippines Inc.