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ALP STARGAZING SESSION REPORT
by James Kevin Ty
Images by James Kevin Ty and Brian Davis
Despite a short imaging and observational window before the Gibbous Moon rises to interfere with the session, a small group of ALPers headed by ALP president James Kevin Ty, auditor Joel Paul Munoz, Brian Davis, Dennis Llante and her girlfriend Kristine Velasco ventured into ALP observing site in Caliraya last April 6.
James, Joel and Brian had imaging session back insode their mind while Dennis will be sharing the beauty of the heavens under a dark site with his better half. James brought along his TV-101 refractor on Vixen GP-D mount; Brian with his Celestron C8 with Skywatcher 80ED refractor on ASGT mount ; Joel with his Vixen R100S reflector and A80SS refractor on HEQ-5 mount while Dennis brought along his Orion ST80 refractor.
They arrive at the site at around 5:00pm and after a short rest, they started to setup their equipment and wait for the sky to darken before they start their sessions. At around 6:45pm, the imagers were able to polar aligned their mounts to the North Pole.
The early evening sky started out great till around 8:00pm when haze brought about the strong glare that was starting to brighten up the sky despite the fact that the Moon havent risen from the horizon. Nevertheless, the imagers were able to salvage some fair deep sky images while Dennis was able to show Kristine some beautiful deep sky objects such as the Orion Nebula, Pleiades star cluster, the ringed planet Saturn and Jewel Box star cluster.
Brian was able to image Eta Carina Nebula, Orion Nebula, galaxy pair M81/M82 and Whirpool Galaxy . Joel with Orion Nebula , galaxy pair M81/M82 and Sombrero Galaxy. James got to image just fairly Orion Nebula, NGC2262 Cone Nebula and the Moon despite bad tracking on his mount that time. Nevertheless, the group enjoyed the session.
Some of their images can be found below (click image to enlarge):
As the session was in progress, James played some oldies new wave songs as well as Bee Gees songs in the background to the delight of the group. Joel was teasing James that the songs that he were playing are telling the group how old he is already :) LOL
At around 9:10pm, the Gibbous Moon can be seen rising from the eastern horizon signifying the end of the imaging session of the group. As the group started to pack up their stuffs to return to Manila, James was able to image the Moon before calling it a night while Brian was still able to squeeze in some time to image the ringed planet Saturn.
At around 11:45pm, the group had already packed up their things and had a group shot taken before they head back to Manila .
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