Stargazing Report


April  9-10, 2005

by John Lawrence Uy


This is my first time going to Caliraya and I am quite excited despite being to tired due to lot of work and things in mind.  but unfortunately won't be able to to join with fellow ALPers to buso-buso this weekend due to work.  anyway, that trip is a great chance for me to rest (need this a lot) and unwind by seeing the sky with better clarity than in Manila.

We arrived there around 6pm (sorry to the people who waited due to some trouble.) the sky was not quite good but definitely better than in Manila.  It was a little hazy there.  Also, I am not sure but there's some light pollution coming from the east.

Ok, so i have set my sights on some objects.  050409-d.jpg (61923 bytes)First off is Jupiter.  I wanted to compare the view from Manila to a place with darker skies.  Unfortunately, I was not able to gather more details.  I was hoping to see more bands at least.  Actually, there might be some faint details but my eyes fail me (it reduces somewhat the magnitude of light I see.)  Anyway, I tried peeking through raymund's scope (at a later time) and Ican see four bands.  At least I saw more so I'm no longer disappointed.  Thanks Raymund. :)

I paused some scope viewing for the good ol' star gazing.  This is one of  those days where you get to see more stars at night.  I wanted to get relaxed as I am getting quite sleepy already.  I think the visibility during the night is around the magnitude of 6 compared to less than 4 in Manila.  I remember my trip to palawan where the visibility is definitely greater than 8.  maybe 9 even.  The sky is glowing not from man made light but from all the stars.  It even made the phrase starry starry night an understatement!

After a small nap, I set my sights to Ursa Major.  Tried to look for the double star M40.  After searching, got it.  it was quite intriguing seeing a binary star.  Though it seems plain and simple enough, It just amazes me  and I remember the show from national graphic about planets.  Astronomers are looking for possible candidates where planets may exist.  But I wonder how they can measure very minute differences in magnitude when one passes in front of a star.

Anyway, by viewing earlier intrigued me to go to the area of Virgo galaxy   cluster.  a small faint light comes from the area but i could not really distinguish much individual sources.  Just pointing my scope to that direction gets an increased count of the number of stars.  It takes me quite some time to observe faint galaxies in the region  and after a while, wow!  It is amazing to see a cluster of galaxies and It is very difficult to imaging the scale of such wonder.  Anyway, I cut my observation as it got difficult for me due to the dew.  darn it.  we need to find another place with minimal dew. :P

I went around to see what the others are doing.  I turned that night into an appreciation day with how our universe can be this beautiful.  This is beautifully concluded with some great images of the milky way galaxy courtesy of Dr. Jett.  The astrophotographers are quite amazing in getting the pictures.  it brings out the greatness in these objects that sometimes we do not even see.  :)

Next time maybe I can have a camera so I can share these beautiful sights with others.  I retired for the night early as I am exhausted.


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