Stargazing Report


April 14, 2006

by James Kevin Ty

Images by James Kevin Ty

Occultation  Image by James Kevin Ty, Jett Aguilar, Raymund Sarmiento and Allen Yu


ALP president James Kevin Ty lead a small group of ALP members 060414-h.jpg (189637 bytes)to observe the April 14, 2006 Spica occultation observation at the roofdeck of the PAGASA Observatory at UP-Diliman, Quezon City.  Members who were present were Jett Aguilar and Rafael Lunar.  James and Rafael arrived at around 10:30pm and started to setup their telescopes and binoculars to observe this event.  Jett later arrived at around 11:45pm.  ALPer Raymund Sarmiento was supposed to join them there but because it coincided with the "Bisita ng Iglesia", he got caught in traffic and decided instead of observe the event at his residence in Antipolo.  This was also the reason why Jett arrived late as well.

James brought along his TV-101 refractor on Vixen GP-D equatorial mount with Sony TRV-110 Digital 8 video camera with 2x conversion lens, while Jett brought along his Celestron C8 on Vixen GP-D equatorial mount with also a Sony Digital 8 video camera and 2x conversion lens while Rafael brought along a 12x50 binoculars mounted on a sturdy tripod.   He later used the Nexstar 5 brought along by Jett to get a better visual timing of this event.

James brought along his Magellan GPS to mark the coordinates of PAGASA observatory which is 14deg 39 min 04 sec North altitude and 121 deg 04 min 21 sec East azimuth on 78 meters elevation.  After carefully synchronizing their cameras, videos and watches  to the GPS time output, they then individually monitored the event through each of their equipment.

Spica got occulted (Ingress)  by the Moon at 01:13:33 am with Spica disappearing from the limb of the Moon! Spica showed as a bluish dot near the Moon's limb.   James used an eyepiece projection setup with his scope to yield a 4680mm f/46 system while Jett used his ever reliable Toucam webcam with an f/6.3 reducer/corrector on his Celestron C8 SCT.  Unfortunately, Jett got a little problem with his setup before Ingress due to bad tracking brought about by an unbalanced system which he didn't anticipate with the additional weight of the videocam installed on his usual setup so he paid dearly for it as well as his late arrival too :(  Since this was Jett;s first occultation observation and imaging, the blunders he made were acceptable. But even with this setback, Jett was not cowed by it and instead used the remaining time before Egress (Exit of Spica from the Moon's limb) to calibrate his system.

At around 01:53:37am, Spica pops out  like a pop corn from the limb of the Moon to the excitement of both Jett and Rafael.  They both shouted the "TIMED" word and it reads that time.  Jett was bale to offset his unbalance system by letting go of his video project thus resulting to a balanced system and more concentration on his Toucam imaging .  After the Egress event, James started to get a good rest before he packed up his equipment.  James was very tired after the event because he brought his family to swimming at Island Cove in Cavite in the morning and spend the whole afternoon submerged with his upcoming astroboy KC at the pool.  The result?  James got sunburn on his back and it was a bit painful as James had to lay his back on the ground just to focus his system and you know the feeling of it if you got sunburn on your back :) LOL

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INGRESS by James Kevin Ty

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EGRESS by James Kevin Ty

During that time, fellow ALPer Raymund as well as astro colleague Bamm Gabriana of the PAS texted with James on the results of their Ingress and Egress timings.   ALPer John Nassr of Baguio was unfortunately clouded out of this event based from his text message to James [ Poor John  :(  ] Bamm observed the event with his GF Roch together with Armando Lee at his residence at Las Pinas.  Raymund texted his Ingress and Egress timings to be 01:13:46 am and 01:53:47 from Antipolo ( 14 deg 34min 57 sec North , 121 deg 10min 37 sec East) while  Bamm and Dr  Armand Lee group, on the other hand, has 01:12:20.059am and 01:54:28.380am  from Las Pinas (14 deg 27 min 49 sec North , 120 deg 59 min 38 sec East) .

Overall, the Spica occultation observations were fruitful and all are now   looking forward to the April 29th Pleiades Occultation by the Moon!

Below are occultation images taken by other ALPers:

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Allen Yu (Triangular shading caused by tree)

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Allen Yu

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Raymund Sarmiento

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Raymund Sarmiento

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Raymund Sarmiento

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Jett Aguilar





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