The Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) in
partnership with the SM Science Discovery Center (SDC) had its closing
activity of National Astronomy Week 2008 last Saturday, February 23, 2008,
4:30pm, at the SM Mall of Asia's Science Discovery Center.
ALP members who attended were: President James Kevin
and Charito Ty, PRO Rich Pijuan, Membership Head Angie Tan, Treasurer
Henry So, Auditor Brian Davis, Secretary Alice Villa-Real, ALP Directors Alfonso Uy
& Jomar Lacson, Bel Pabunan, Planetarium staff that includes Junelyn Alacapa ,
Nel Lagda, Liza Quitlong, Mary Ann Ramirez, Roberto Silvestre & Maximo
Zabanal , Maximo Sacro, Elena Moya, Roland Moya, Jonathan & Ellen Alcartado, Nathaniel
Custodio, Irving Raymundo, Omar Turqueza, Janice Ponce, Edgar Ang, Joseph
Gutierrez, Aldrin Palacio, and Alfonso Sy .
The event started off with the Registration at around 3:30pm. The 2nd ALP
Astrophoto Exhibit was still at the area beside 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. 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 a
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.
People who attended the planetarium show had the
privilege to attend the
lecture entitled "Basics of Digital Astrophotography" . The lecture started
at around 4:30pm wherein ALP President James Kevin Ty presented
the lecture through a powerpoint 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)
After the lecture and exhibit, they all proceeded outdoors, where ALP had
set up their telescopes. Compared to last week's session which was
marred by partly cloudy skies, this time the weather was very good! Telescopes that were used for the public
viewing were: ALP's 8-inch Meade SCT, Planetarium's Celestron C8
SCT, Edgar Ang's Orion XT6 6" Dobsonian reflector, Alice's Orion ST-80wide
field refractor, Jon Alcartado's Skywatcher 6" Newtonian reflector and Orion
80ED refractor, Brian Davis' Celestron C8 SCT and Skywatcher 80ED refractor,
Nathaniel Custodio's William Optics Zenithstar 80mm refractor.
More than am estimated 2000+ queued without a break
along the telescopes that were setup at the site! Among the objects that
were observed were the magnificent Saturn, still bright but smaller
Mars, the Great Orion Nebula in constellation Orion, the beautiful Pleiades
star cluster in Taurus, brightest star Sirius, and last but not the least,
the beautiful Gibbous Moon! Saturn was also a stunner as most of the viewers
cant believe that they would be able to see it's majestic rings! 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. Mars , although
a bit smaller now than during December was still a sight to behold with its
beautiful bright orange color as well as show some martian features such as
Syrtis Major and small polar ice cap at high magnification.
At around 9:00pm, the Gibbous Moon had risen above the
SM building obstruction for ALPers to point some of their telescopes to it.
Some of the scopes were setup for whole disk viewing while the other s were
setup to view at high power to show better views of the magnificent craters
and beautiful mares.
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. Lastly , the weather that week was marred by clouds
but with God's blessings, the closing of the NAW 2008 came out with a blast
with a surprising clear night for members to share the beauty of the heavens
to the public! Thick clouds and as well as mild rain later came after
the event was over already! :) LOL
ALP would also like to welcome Rodney Jovin Velasco ,
Jaizel Valerie Pilapil and Michael Manriquez as ALP newest members !
ALP would like to thank those who help make this event a successful
one. To everyone from setting up the astrophoto exhibits such as 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! Also to ALP members such as
Jett Aguilar, Brian Davis, Jon Alcartado, Alice Villa-Real, Edgar Ang,
Nathaniel Custodio, Planetarium Staffs who put extra effort and energy to
bring their telescopes to the event. Also to the numerous ALP
members who help assists during the 2 days event with their presence.
and last but not the least, our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the 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 this
year's National Astronomy Week 2008 a successful and memorable one!
For more NAW activity images , click here.