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by James Kevin Ty 

The ALP had another overnight stargazing session held at the dark skies of  Caliraya, Laguna last April 14. The first of group of ALPers lead by ALP VP Jett Aguilar, auditor Joel Paul Munoz, Brian Davis and Kristy Anne Abello met at Shell Alabang at around 4:00pm and first departed to the site because the second batch of ALPers lead by ALP President James Kevin Ty will just be meeting at Shell Magallanes a little later at around 6:30pm because he had some important matters to do before he can join.  

After a while, the second group composing of James Kevin Ty, Sheri Mae Domingo , newest ALPer Charisse Baldoria and her boyfriend Clement Acevedo depart from their meeting place at around 7:00pm.  But there was an expected traffic at that time so they arrive at the site at around 10:45pm :(

During that time, the first group had already setup their equipment and stared observing and imaging the heavens.  Jett was with his Takahashi TSA-102 refractor on Vixen GP-DX equatorial mount ; Brian Davis was with his Skywatcher 80ED refractor sitting atop his Celestron C8 SCT (Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope) on ASGT equatorial mount ; Joel Paul Munoz with his Vixen R-100S Newtonian reflector on Skywatcher HEQ-5 equatorial mount ; Kristy Anne Abello with her Truss type 6" f/8 Dobsonian reflector. James Kevin Ty, on the other hand, quickly setup his TV-101 refractor on Vixen GP-DX equatorial mount.

The early evening sky was very clear until around  11:30pm when  haze started to cover up the sky initially from the eastern horizon then later the entire sky :(  During that time, ALPers took the time to get some rest as well as had some chat while having some  light snacks and coffee.

Brian had already taken some DSO shots already in the early evening such as M51 Whirlpool Galaxy, M82 irregular galaxy, Sombrero Galaxy and Omega Centauri globular cluster and was quite happy with the results :)  Joel on the other hand had almost same duplicated images like Brian's in M51 Whirlpool Galaxy, M81/M82 Galaxy Pair and Omega Centauri globular cluster.  Kristy show James her sketches of M42 Orion Nebula and M78 Planetary Nebula both in Orion she made early in the evening.   Jett, on the other hand, wasn't able to image with his setup as he is still familiarizing with the steep curve of CCD imaging as well as auto-guiding but was nevertheless contended to use the session as part of his learning mode to tame his ATIK-16HR CCD camera.

Joel Munoz was very serious in checking the results of  his images that evening with his Vixen R100S with Skywatcher HEQ-5 mount.

Brian Davis was all smile that evening as he got tons of great deep sky images to be proud of that were taken with his C8 SCT with focal reducer on ASGT mount.

Jett Aguilar still find time to smile despite that he wasnt able to get some images off with his setup as he used the session to try to learn the steep curve of CCD imaging as well as autoguiding. " Once I get all this figure out, all of you will drool at my work!!! :) LOL " 

James Kevin Ty still got some energy left with him to pose beside his setup amid a very tiring long drive in the evening.  " Oh well, at least I was able to still get 3 deep sky objects for my souvenir :) LOL" 

While Kristy was casually viewing the numerous beautiful deep skies, she was also able to show to fellow ALPers Sheri and Charisse the beautiful ringed planet Saturn and  gas giant Jupiter as well as some beautiful deep sky objects such as M51 Whirlpool Galaxy, Lagoon Nebula, Omega Centauri, etc.

At around 1:00am, the sky started to clear again and James use that opportunity to image Omega Centauri, Swan Nebula and the beautiful Lagoon Nebula and Triffid Nebula in one field!  Brian and Joel also were able to image both Lagoon and Triffid Nebula separately as well as the Ring Nebula before they ended their imaging session when it was already too bright at around 4:30am.

The group took time also to observe the thin crescent Moon as well as Mars .  They then had a customary group shot taken before before they packed up their stuff and depart at around 6:00am.  Overall, it was a very good observation and imaging night for the group and they are already awaiting the next stargazing session at the site again on May 19th!


 Astro Images and Sketches taken by ALPers During This Session:

Kristy Anne Abello Brian Davis Joel Paul Munoz James Kevin Ty




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