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by James Kevin Ty

The Astronomical League of the Philippines held its 061015loinaz-b.jpg (118349 bytes)monthly meeting at the residence of our colleague, Rev Alice Villa-Real last October 15.  Among the ALP members who attended the event were James Kevin Ty, Charito Ty, Allen Yu, Alice Villa-Real, Rich Pijuan and nephew Kurt Levy Reyes,  Jett Aguilar,  Dante Cruz, Alexander Loinaz, Henry So, Peter Benedict Tubalinal, Joseph Torres,  Hans Gideon Cerdenia, Jomar Lacson, Alberto Lao and his wife Noni, Brian Davis and his friend Zelda Reyes, Raymund Sarmiento, Angie Tan, Jon Alcartado and his wife Ellen, and Tommy Tan.

The meeting started with a potluck lunch which members brought along to share with fellow ALPers. As members awaited for other members to arrive, they had lunch as well as discuss with fellow members the ins and outs of amateur astronomy.  While they were chatting over lunch, ALP president James Kevin Ty brought out his Coronado PST, a broadband H-alpha scope to 061015-b.jpg (92241 bytes)let the members have an opportunity to see the Sun in that wavelength. One after another, there was a continuous queue toward the scope to get a good look on how the Sun looks like in red :) LOL

Some remarks that I got from the observers was that it was an amazing view with a big eruptive prominence clearly seen at the edge of the Sun's disk.   Member like Brian had lined up several times to look at it with sheer enjoyment from his facial responses.  Peter, on the other hand, had been telling the other members to look for some more small prominences on the other areas of the disk.

At around 2:15pm, the meeting proper started with 061015tan-a.jpg (97407 bytes)James discussing the upcoming November 9 Mercury transit with the help of a powerpoint presentation.  Brian was kind enough to bring his LCD projector to aid the lecturer.  James started out by giving some facts about the transit and some recent observations that were made here in the Philippines like the one he observe in 1993 as well as the 2003 transits.

He then put out some pointers on what to expect and observe during a transit. What types of solar filters are safe to use to observe the Sun,as well as a short overview on the importance of using an accurate time like the one based in atomic clock as well as one from the GPS signal.

He then invite the members to observe with the ALP at the roofdeck of PAGASA Observatory in UP-Diliman in Quezon City the night before the transit on November 8 so that one can feel relaxed and calm in the morning as the scope and mount would have already been polar aligned for high resolution imaging of the transit.

At around 3:15pm, James announced the start of 061015-l.jpg (106438 bytes)the annual Mooncake Dice Game.  ALPer Henry So was the chief official for the event.  He started by welcoming the members to the dice game and then giving out pointers and instructions on how to play the game.   There were more than 24 participants this year and top prizes included a HP photo printer, DVD players, mini speaker systems, and other consumable prizes :) It was a fun and exciting game as most of the participants are praying before they roll  the dice that they roll a high number for them to win the top prizes.

After the game was over at around 5:00pm, majority of the members still stayed to chat  a little  more while Alice brought out her Orion ST-80 refractor on tripod for them to see the Moon.  Overall, it was a nice and a happy ambience with most of the members happy and looking forward for next year's Moon cake Dice game again and they were encouraging for a telescope as the top prize next year and who knows?  If more participants will join next year, nothing is impossible :)


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For more images of the event, click here.


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