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by James Kevin Ty 

Bad weather greeted most of the observers from the Luzon area that were expecting to observe the August 28th total lunar eclipse as rain and thick clouds continued till the evening. Amid a bad situation for a good chance to observe this event, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) that includes James Kevin Ty, Jett Aguilar, Irving Raymundo, Nathaniel Custodio, Maximo Sacro, Charisse Baldoria, Jomar Lacson, Lala Alcala, and Rafael Lunar setup at the roof deck of PAGASA Observatory in UP-Diliman.  Aside from them, numerous TV newsman led by Kim Atienza of TV Patrol, as well as those from GMA 7, UNTV 37, and news agencies photographers from AP, Reuters, Philippine Inquirer, , European Press Photo Agency, etc were also there to cover the event.


ALPers Irving Raymundo (L) and Nathaniel Custodio (R) are all set to image the eclipse.

ALP V-Pres Jett Aguilar (L) sets up his telescope while Irving and Nathaniel looks on.  Also at the background were newsmen and news photographers who also gather at the roof deck to observe the event.

The PAGASA observatory's roof deck was jam packed so some late comers that includes news reporters , students and the public had to contend themselves in setting up their cameras and scopes at the ground to observe this event.

ALPer Maximo Sacro Jr. was very helpful in guiding the public as well as press people on their inquiries about the eclipse.

ALP President James Kevin Ty eagerly waited for the clouds to disperse so that he can document the eclipse.

ABS-CBN TV Patrol's Kuya Kim Atienza was there to do live coverage of the eclipse.


Unfortunately, all of them as well as members of ALP were disappointed because from moonrise till the end of the eclipse, the Moon didn't even peak out of the thick clouds to show its beauty to them.  Nevertheless, this is another forgettable event and they look forward to observing the next lunar eclipse that will happen on August 17, 2008.  This  eclipse will be Partial and not Total as the next total lunar eclipse to be visible in the Philippines will be on June 15, 2011.

But ALP members in the South like Christopher Go from Cebu and Raymund John Ang from Bacolod City as well as ALP members in the US such as Eric Africa, Francisco Lao, Edwin Aguirre and Imelda Joson were fortunate to observe the event with only small patches of clouds that didn't hamper their view. Overall, ALP members from the Philippines as well as in the US were able to observe the complete lunar eclipse phases, with the US members observing the first part of the eclipse till totality and the Philippine members observing from totality  to the end part of the eclipse :) 

Below are their short reports of the eclipse: (click the images to enlarge)


Christopher Go - "The eclipse at totality was very dim and I had a hard time focusing on the Moon!"


Raymund John Ang - "The sky was clouded out for much of the afternoon and early evening.
Fortunately, I had a window of opportunity to image the event from 8:04 PM PST (Philippine Standard Time) until about 8:24 PM with a 5-minute interval each image, after which the sky began to be cloudy again. At 8:34 PM, I was lucky to take a clear glimpse of the moon and imaged the event for the last time when there seems to be no more eclipse happening. I used the Meade ETX-90 with the 25mm MA to image the eclipse, coupled with a Hand-held Canon PowerShot A710 IS at Auto Setting."

8:04 PM

8:09 PM

8:14 PM

8:19 PM

8:24 PM

8:34 PM


Eric Africa - "Jun Lao and I got up around 5AM EDT to catch the eclipse. I stepped out into our backyard to see the eclipse already in progress, with the moon way too close to a neighbor's trees!

I started snapping away until the leaves of the trees got in the way. I then proceeded to the Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio, which has a much lower western horizon than I do at home.
Totality was already in progress when I arrived, and I snapped as many pictures as I can until it got too bright to see the moon.

All images below were taken with a Canon Digital Rebel XTi (400D) through
a Borg 45ED at f/6.6 (324mm). ISO 800. The partial phase shot was
1/250 second. The other 2 images were 2-second exposures."


Francisco Lao, Jr. - "I started shooting images of the eclipse from home here in Mason, Ohio at 4:39 a.m., when the Moon was still in the penumbra, then at 4:51 a.m. as the Moon started to cross the umbra, and then every 15 mins. after. Exposures varied from 1/250 second to 6 seconds at ASA 640. I used a Nikon D80 with a 300 mm lens and 2x teleplus.

The weather was mild (17 C) and the skies were clear and we had low humidity and gentle breezes - perfect for viewing the eclipse.

As totality progressed and the Moon was now crossing the tree line from my house, I drove over to VOA park, about 10 mins drive, to where Eric was and saw a sliver of the Moon fighting the increasingly brightening dawn sky. While I could not image the Moon with the increasing low contrast, the bonus was Venus low in the eastern sky - as a wide crescent!

I went directly to the office after this so it's only now that I was able to process the images and post it to the list."



Edwin Aguirre and Imelda Joson - "Here are some photos we took of this morning's total lunar eclipse from Horn Pond in Woburn. Although the Moon was setting when totality began, we were treated to a nice view of the partial phase of the eclipse. The Moon's reddish hue was easily visible to the unaided eye even before the Moon was halfway through Earth's shadow, as shown in the long exposures we took as well as in the Moon's reflection on the water's surface. Close-up shots: Takahashi FS-78 refractor and Canon EOS 20D digital SLR and Wide-field shot: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT with a 135-mm. zoom lens"







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