Stargazing Report


June 21, 2005

Text and Images by James Kevin Ty unless specified


Last June 20, a small group of ALPers namely James Kevin Ty, Allen Yu and Francisco Lao had decided to make a long trip to Nasugbu , Batangas to observe the June 21, early morning Antares occultation event.  James decided to go to Nasugbu in order to get a chance to observe and record the timings of both Ingress and Egress of the event.   Although Ingress (Disappearance) can be seen in Metro Manila, the Egress (Reappearance) event, unfortunately will be difficult to observe due to its just 2 degrees above the SSW horizon.  Manila Bay would have been a good area to observe it but due to normally polluted and hazy condition, it was not chosen by James to set up there.

The group initial plan was to depart Manila to their destination site at around 7:00pm but due to bad weather condition that time, they initially had decided to cancel the trip.   But at around 8:00pm, the Moon had shown itself against the patchy clouds, so James had discussed with both Jun and Allen of their decision to take the risk and proceed as scheduled.

After fetching both Allen and Jun, they finally departed late at around 9:45pm and arrived at Johndel Beach Resort in Nasugbu past midnight.  After some rest, they began to unload their astro equipment to the balcony of the resort to get a higher elevation to observe the event.

James brought along his trusty TV-101 refractor 050621-a.jpg (67107 bytes)on GP-DX mount ; Allen with his Orion 80ED refractor on EQ-3 mount while Jun had a simple setup with his Sony F-717 digital camera on sturdy tripod.  As they set up their scopes and cameras, James use his GPS receiver to get  the site's altitude and longitude as well as the correct time signal.  After he got the fix on the GPS, they calibrated their camera's and video's time as well as their watches so they can record the event's time accurately.

After getting their scope polar aligned, they waited and at around 3:10am, they started to click their cameras as Antares get closer and closer to the Moon's thin dark limb.   Unfortunately, haze and think clouds started to cover the SSW horizon.  With the Moon 10 degrees above the horizon, they were worried that they might missed it as the glare of the Moon was severe and add that to the haze around the Moon, it was very difficult to see Antares from the viewfinder of their cameras so they started to click away until Antares disappeared behind the limb at around 3:14:42am.

Click image below to get more details:

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They then also got some reports from some fellow ALPers like Raymund, and Lea who reported that the sky in Manila area was clouded out.  So they think they made the right decision to proceed and were glad about it.

Unfortunately, luck later runs out of the group as 5 minutes 050621moonset_junlao-b.jpg (21147 bytes)before Egress (reappearance) ,which was supposed to be around 3:50am , thick black clouds catch up with the Moon thus diminished all the chances to observe it :(  They then let out a big sigh and started to packed up their stuffs.  Nevertheless, they still feel  fortunate to at least get the Ingress :)  Jun also took a good dramatic moonset shot to add finale and spice to this event.

They departed from Nasugbu at around 10:00am and visited Taal Vista Hotel and had lunch there as well as get some group shots of  themselves behind the magnificent Taal Volcano as background before heading home.






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