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ALP NATIONAL ASTRONOMY WEEK OPENING REPORT
by James Kevin Ty
Images by James Kevin Ty and Jett Aguilar
Last February 18, the Astronomical League of the Philippines open their National Astronomy Week celebration at the Manila Planetarium. Members who were present that day were James Kevin Ty, Allen Yu, Jett Aguilar, Alice Villa-Real, Melchor Pilones , Bel Pabunan, John Lawrence Uy, Peter Benedict Tubalinal , Alfonso Uy, Joseph Torres, Theodore Gutierrez, Michelle Lampa , Dante Noche and wife Rosie, Kristy Anne Abello, Rafael Lunar, Angie Tan, Melisa Bata, Maximo Sacro , Rich Pijuan , Jomar Lacson and wife Elizabeth , Jonathan Alcartado & wife Ellen ,Tommy Tan , Sheri Mae Domingo, Henry So and newest member Nathaniel Custodio.
The event started at around 1:00pm with a solar viewing at the compound of the Planetarium. A PST H-Alpha solar telescope was setup for members and visitors to get to see the Sun in H-Alpha wavelength. Unfortunately, there were no visible prominences at the solar disk at that time but a small sunspot group was visible in the solar disk for the members and guest to appreciate it :0
Program proper started at around 2:30pm with ALP Secretary Alice Villa-Real leading the singing of the National Anthem and Prayer Invocation. It was followed by ALP President James Kevin Ty who gave the opening remarks to the audience. He enumerates the schedule of events that the ALP had prepared for the week. This year's main activity is the 1st ALP Astrophoto Exhibit at the Planetarium.
Afterwards, guest of honor National Museum Assistant Director of Operations Maharlika "Noel" Cuevas (send as proxy by National Museum Director IV Corazon Alvina) leads the ribbon cutting ceremony to open the Astrophoto Exhibit. Aside from the astrophoto exhibit, there are also other displays at the Planetarium at the same time namely: Tektite and Meteorite Collection Exhibit by ALP Treasurer Allen Yu, Telescope Displays by members of the ALP as well as Astro-Garage Sale.
This was followed by a very interesting lecture by ALP Vice President Jett Aguilar. His lecture is on how to get started with Basic Digital Astrophotography. The lecture touches on the commercially available digicams as well as webcam that the amateur astronomers can use to image the heavenly bodies. The lecture is more than 1 hour but the audience were captivated by the beautiful images he was able to capture.
Then a free planetarium show capped the day's event with a good show about our Solar System. As the show was ongoing, some of the members started to packed up their telescopes at the display hall as they will be bringing them later to the Baywalk area for a free public stargazing session.
After the planetarium show, members and guests posed at the entrance of the planetarium for a group shot before proceeding to the Baywalk in Luneta.
For more images of the Planetarium session, click here.
B. BAYWALK, LUNETA
After the conclusion of the activity at the Planetarium, ALPers composing of ALP President James Kevin Ty and wife Charito Ty and son KC , Allen Yu, Jett Aguilar, Alice Villa-Real, Rich Pijuan, Melisa Bata, Angie Tan, Jonathan Alcartado and wife Ellen, Tommy Tan, Joseph Torres, Rafael Lunar, Kristy Anne Abello, Maximo Sacro, Peter Benedict Tubalinal, Melchor Pilones, Bel Pabunan and other Planetarium staffs, Dante Noche and wife Rosie, Henry So, Sheri Mae Domingo, Michelle Lampa, John Lawrence Uy and Jomar Lacson proceeded to Baywalk Area where the ALP Public Stargazing Session will be held between 6:00pm-9:30pm.
ALP President James Kevin Ty brought the society's 8"Meade LX10 SCT and TV-101 refractor on Vixen GP-D mount ; Treasurer Allen Yu with his Skywatcher 6" f/5 reflector; VP Jett Aguilar brought his Celestron C8 on Vixen GP-D mount ; John Lawrence Uy brought his Celestron C8 on ASGT mount; Kristy Anne Abello with her homemade 6" f/8 dobsonian reflector ; Alice Villa-Real with her Nexstar 5 SCT ; Jonathan Alcartado with his Orion 90mm refractor on EQ-4 mount and Planetarium staff brought their Celestron C8 SCT .
The group started to setup their scopes awaiting their special guest of honor, Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, who will be giving a welcome remarks at the park as well as doing the ribbon cutting ceremony to open the event.
After the ceremony, ALP president James Kevin Ty and Maximo Sacro entertained Mayor Atienza by showing the mayor the planets Venus and Saturn to his delight. Mayor Atienza thanked the ALP for their unselfish promotion of astronomy by giving a free stargazing session at the park for the public to get a chance to view the beautiful universe through their telescopes.
More than 4,000 viewers were estimated to have queued on all telescopes to look at beautiful objects such as Venus, Saturn, Orion Nebula, Sirius, Pleiades star cluster, etc so it was a memorable night indeed. At around 9:40pm, the group started to pack up their scopes and invited again the public to be there again this coming Saturday for another stargazing session for the closing of the National Astronomy Week celebration.
The group then have again their group photo taken for memorabilia and posterity purposes.
For more images of the Baywalk session, click here.
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