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by James Kevin Ty 

Last January 7, the Astronomical League of the Philippines held their monthly meeting at the Manila Planetarium.  Members who were present that day were James Kevin Ty, Allen Yu, Jett Aguilar, Melchor Pilones , Alice Villa-Real, Peter Benedict Tubalinal , John Lawrence Uy, Michelle Lampa , Kristy Anne Abello, Brian Davis, Rafael Lunar, Angie Tan and Melisa Bata.

The meeting started at around 2:30pm with ALP president  James Kevin Ty and Treasurer Allen Yu bringing along their Coronado PST and Solarmax 40 H-Alpha telescopes for members to observe the Sun at that wavelength.  Although the weather was mostly cloudy that afternoon, ALPers were able to observe the Sun through holes in the clouds.  Sunspot groups AR 933 and 930 were at the center of the Sun's disk with 2 small prominences visible at that time.  Members quickly make a queue right away when it cleared up for a short moment.  With Allen's Solarmax 40 that has a 0.7Angstrom transmission and James' PST at 1.0 Angstrom, they then try double stacking their 2 filters which becomes a 0.5 Angstrom H-alpha scope.  Prominences are best seen with a H-Alpha scope centered at around 1 Angstrom while the solar features such as filaments, flares and plages were   best viewed at less than 1 Angstrom.

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Solar viewing ended at around 3:30pm and the members goes back to the Planetarium to have their main lecture started.  ALP observation  chairman Peter Benedict Tubalinal gave the members a rundown on the highlights of the astro events that we can view this year. Most notable are the 2 lunar eclipse that will be visible locally.   The March 4 Total Lunar Eclipse will start at 4:16am but unfortunately, sunrise will catch up to this event before it touches totality :(

But the August 28 Total lunar eclipse will compensate for us here as the event will be visible at Moonrise at around 6:12pm with the Moon already entering totality and near maximum totality at around 6:37pm.  The event will end with the penumbral shadow exiting at around 9:22pm.

Aside from these two events there are meteor showers, asteroid observation , Saturn opposition, etc for all to enjoy the 2007 year.

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ALP president James Kevin Ty then discuss the 070107_aguilar-c.jpg (60557 bytes)upcoming 2007 National Astronomy Week that will start on February 18th and ends on the 24th.   Among the approved activities are public stargazing sessions , photo exhibits, astro workshops, astro garage sale , etc.  More detailed info will be posted before month's end.

Lastly, James and Peter discuss the 2007 Messier marathon that will be held on March 17 under the dark skies of Caliraya.  The event will be open to anyone regardless of organization affiliation and Messier Certificates will be issued to the participants of the event.  The meeting ended at around 6:30pm.



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