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     2ND ALP MESSIER MARATHON 2008 OPEN FULL REPORT

by Peter Benedict Tubalinal & James Kevin Ty

Images by James Kevin Ty & Vincent Lao


The Astronomical League of the Philippines' Philippine Messier Marathon 2008 event pushed through on April 5. 2008 at Caliraya, Quezon despite the very cloudy weather accompanied with some occasional rains. Present were James Kevin Ty, Dr. Jett Aguilar, newest ALP member Dr. Armando Lee with his wife Mia and son Jason, Orly Andico with wife Rosalie, Brian Davis, Ms. Zelda Reyes, Vincent Lao, Christopher Lee, Sandra Torita, Irving Raymundo, Nathaniel Custodio, Katherine Caralipio, Rhayan C. Coronel, Frank Kelvin S. Martinez, Fermin Naelga, Lordnico P. Mendoza, Rodney Jovin Velasco, and Peter Benedict O. Tubalinal.

The marathoners were ALPers Peter Benedict Tubalinal, Rodney Velasco & Vincent Lao, Guest Christopher Lee, RTU Astro Students Katherine Caralipio, Rhayan Coronel, Fermin Naelga, Lordnico P. Mendoza, and Frank Kelvin S. Martinez.  All were using binoculars except for Rodney, who used his 2.5-inch refractor.

Christopher (Benci) Lee's van arrived at the Shell-Magallanes station at around 1:00pm, however, the heavy traffic in some areas prevented the convoy at an earlier time. ALP president James
Kevin Ty phoned Benci and told him to proceed to the site since he, along with other members (Peter Tubalinal and Vincent Lao) got caught in heavy traffic in Manila. The van left at nearly 3:00pm.  Kevin's car arrived at Shell Magellanes at around 4pm, where they picked up new member Rodney LovinVelasco. They cruised the Skyway and stopped over at a Jollibee station where they were met by ALP vice president Dr. Jett Aguilar and Orly Andico's vehicles. Both also had cars and the convoy was on. All three proceeded and made another stop-over to buy food at another Jollibee station in Pansanjan where ALPers Brian Davis, Irving Raymundo and Nathaniel Custodio were having dinner at.

Christopher's van arrived at the site at nearly 7:00pm, where they started to  locate for the messier objects as soon after they had their tents setup. The rest arrived at 8:30pm, and the other marathoners tried to hurry up in looking for the setting messier objects. There were almost 10 Messier objects that had already set when they arrived :( Clouds started to rush in from the east-northeast side, pouring slight showers on everybody present on the site. Not only were the marathoners had all the fun, astrophotographers were also doing their imaging session. Jett setup his Celestron C8 SCT on Vixen GP-D mount; Brian with his Skywatcher  80ED refractor piggybacked on Celestron C8 SCT on ASGT mount; James with TV-101 refractor on Vixen GP-D mount and Armando Lee with Zenithstar 80ED II refractor on Atlas EQ-G mount .

Unfortunately, rains started to come in even more as the night progresses, and the imagers had a very difficult time trying to cover up their equipments once in a while.   ALPers Brain Davis and ALP couples  Orly & Rosalir Andico opted to call it a night at around midnight as to be honest, it was really frustrating.  The rest of the group persevered and opted to stay put no matter what happens :)  Until morning, the marathoners and imagers were nearly wet because of the bad weather and that cause a  low output for them because of occasional rains.   As for astro-imagers, they were glad that after 3:30am, weather improves a bit for them to image the Summer Milky Way as well as M4 and Omega Centauri globular clusters and planet Jupiter.

M4 Globular Cluster in Scorpius.

Image taken by James Kevin Ty using TV-101 refractor at prime focus at f/5.4.  Total guided exposure 10 minutes at ISO 1600.

Summer Milky Way centered on Scorpius / Sagittarius Region

Image taken by Vincent Lao using stock Canon A540 digicam using built-in wide angle lens at f/2.6 at ISO 800.  Total exposure of 128 seconds was used.  Unguided shot.

As sunrise came, marathoners submitted their log sheets, and took a little time to view the sun through Kevin's PST-Ha and they had a great time as there was a big loop prominence that was visible at the western limb of the Sun!  But rain clouds started to cover the Sun after tjheir view before James could setup to image it:(  A group picture followed before the event had officially ended.  Armando Lee's family as well as his RTU Astro students opted to stay there for fishing and boating while James and other ALPers opted to head back home as James want to try imaging the prominence at his home which he managed to do it later.   Also, a beautiful full arc rainbow was visible when they head home so the group stopped near the Caliraya power station to image it.

Fermin Naelga got to look through the PST-Ha to view the giant loop prominence that was visible that day.

The Giant Loop Prominence was imaged by James Kevin Ty after he got home from Caliraya as he wasn't able to image it there because rain clouds covered the sky after all of them got to view it visually.


A beautiful full arc rainbow was the "icing of the cake" of sorts for the participants of the event!



The results are arranged from highest to lowest, and these are as follows:
 

PARTICIPANT'S NAME SCORE
Peter Benedict Tubalinal 75
Christopher Lee 59
Fermin Naelga 32
Lordnico Mendoza 28
Vincent Lao 24
Frank Kelvin Martinez 24
Rhayan Coronel 24
Katherine Caralipio 23

 


For more activity images , click here.

 

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