The Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) in
partnership with the SM Science Discovery Center (SDC) opened
its National Astronomy Week 2008 last Sunday, February 17, 2008, 4:30pm, at
the SM Mall of Asia's Science Discovery Center. This
year's ALP NAW theme was "Rediscovering the Universe" but both ALP and SDC
later rename the theme for the event as "Starry Starry Night."
ALP members who attended were: President James Kevin Ty, Vice President Jett
Aguilar, PRO Rich Pijuan, NAW 2008 Chairman Peter Benedict Tubalinal,
Membership Head Angie Tan, Treasurer Henry So, Auditor Brian Davis, Ways and
Means Committee Head Melisa Bata, Alfonso Uy, Michelle Lampa, Kristy Ann
Abello, Bel Pabunan, Planetarium staff that includes Junelyn Alacapa ,
Nel Lagda, Liza Quitlong, Mary Ann Ramirez, Roberto Silvestre & Maximo
Zabanal , Elena Moya, Roland Moya, Jonathan & Ellen Alcartado, Nathaniel
Custodio, Irving Raymundo, Sheri Mae Domingo, Alexander Loinaz, Omar
Turqueza, and Janice Ponce.
The event started off with the Registration at around 3:30pm. GMA 7 lead by
reporter Meann Los Banos came and covered the event. Earlier, they
interviewed ALP President James Kevin Ty regarding astrophotography, and
about the NAW '08, while waiting for people to fill up the seats
inside the lecture room. PRO Rich Pijuan was also interviewed about how she
took the image of the Moon. Member Elena Moya was also interviewed. The
exhibit area was just right next to the lecture area. Those who arrived
earlier had the time to move around and observe the images posted on the
exhibit. There were 102 images used, all of them courtesy of ALP. They are
grouped accordingly: planets, galaxies, nebulae, solar, astronomical events,
ALP in action, the Moon, and the Discovery of Red Spot Jr.
People who attended the planetarium show had the privilege to
lecture entitled "Basics of Digital Astrophotography" . The lecture started
at around 5:30pm, where James used his laptop connected to a multimedia
projector for the presentation. The objective was to show participants that
astrophotography can be done also with the use of a simple digital camera.
James introduced the types of cameras used from the old technology to the
digital age. He showed the audience the ways of imaging some of the
astronomical objects, the simplest of which, is the Moon. He explained
thoroughly, that by the use of even the simplest digital camera, one can
take an image of our nearest neighbor in space. He showed them the proper
way of holding it right in front of the eyepiece. Later, he presented some
of the images that were taken from a simple point and shoot digital camera,
and also those taken using a better digital single lens reflex (DSLR)
The opening of the exhibit followed after his lecture ended
around 6:30pm. People who were not able to come early took time to roam
around and view the exhibit. Members of the ALP who were present assisted
the participants in explaining what they are looking at, and how the images
were taken. The interests and smiles on the faces of the participants was
very obvious, as various people had their own interests. Some wanted to
learn how to image the stars, others wanted to image the planets, likewise
with other objects. They were so much interested that they even inquired on
how to join the ALP. In addition to an enjoyable discussion, snacks and
coffee were also served courtesy of Bo's Cafe. Aside from the
astrophotography exhibit and lecture, the Science Discovery Center also has
entitled "Search for Life"
at SM SDC’s very own Digistar Planetarium – the most advanced 360 degree
15meter dome screen technology in the Philippines! This is a sure fun way of
learning more about the stars and the skies.
A planetarium lecture was followed inside
the dome area.
After the lecture and exhibit, they all proceeded outdoors,
where ALP had
set up their telescopes amidst a very cloudy sky. Though uncertain of the
possibility of the skies to clear up, ALP members proceeded in putting up
their respective telescopes. Telescopes that were used for the public
are: a 4-inch TV101 refractor, an 8-inch Meade SCT, (both courtesy of James
Kevin Ty), 8-inch Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope (Jett Aguilar), 6-inch
Dobsonian (Edgar Ang), Skywatcher 80mm ED refractor (Brian Davis),
8-inch Schmidt Cassegrain (Manila Planetarium) , and an Orion 80mm ED
refracting telescope by Jon Alcartado. Not all telescopes were placed
because of the weather. But despite cloudy skies, heavenly bodies played
hide and seek all throughout the session. People were able to observe the
Moon, its craters that really caught their attention. Bright stars also
popped into view: Sirius from the constellation Canis Major; and Rigel from
the Orion constellation.
Viewers were captivated by the bright twinkling
effects of these stars.
Then, the finale -- the appearance of the ringed planet, Saturn. The public
rushed in line to get a glimpse of what has always been the most beautiful
planet in the solar system. They took their moment viewing Saturn through
the telescopes, for at least a minute for each one. Then moments later,
clouds started to close in again. A little entertainment was also presented
by Science Discovery Center who invited the great singer Sofia to add
spice to the public viewing session.
The observing session ended at around 10:30pm, where a series of group
pictures were taken, with the theme logo as its background. Group
picture-takings had always been one of the most enjoying parts of any event
of the ALP.
ALP would like to thank those who help make this event a successful
one. To the ever-energetic James Kevin Ty, from Rich Pijuan, Angie Tan, Bel
Pabunan, Edgar Ang, and Nel Lagda who spend unselfish time and devotion to
make the astrophoto exhibit an enjoyable event! Our great thanks also to SM
Science Discovery Center (SDC) specially SDC Marketing Manager Lara Marie
Lua, Marketing Officer Jeffrey Cifra , Operation Manager Ronwell Bete as well as SDC
Senior Marketing and Communication Managers Ampy Crisostomo and Senior
Assistant Vice President Dexter Deyto for their great support to make the opening
activity of the National Astronomy Week 2008 a successful and memorable one!
For more NAW activity images , click here.