ALP October 12, 2008 Meeting Report
by James Kevin Ty
Last October 12, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) held their monthly meeting at the Manila Planetarium. Members who were present were James Kevin Ty , wife Charito and son Kendrick Cole (KC) Ty, Dr. Armando Lee, Alfonso Uy, Brian Davis, Angie Tan, Vincent Lao, Dr. Jett Aguilar, Andrew Ian Chan, Bel Pabunan, and Tommy Tan . ALP membership chairperson Angie Tan brought along her Orion ST-80 refractor equipped with solar filter to try observing the small AR1005 sunspot group that was visible that time.
VP Jett Aguilar tries to look at the small AR1005 sunspot group through
Angie's ST-80 refractor.
Armando Lee lectures on the Origin of Life on Earth while members
seriously listen and look at the power point presentation made by him.
The meeting started late at around 3:30pm with ALP president James Kevin Ty introducing Dr. Armando Lee as the lecturer for the day. His lecture was entitled "Origin of Life on Earth." His lecture gave a comprehensive look at what are the proofs of the when the simplest cellular organism on Earth appeared, citing fossilized cells to genome studies, and gave an interesting explanation of why possibly the first life form on Earth was actually RNA (ribonucleic acids) which could have first exhibited natural selection and even "ruled the Earth" for a time right after Earth was formed (4.5 billion years ago) and cooled (some 3.8 billion year ago) enough for life to emerge and avoid the sterilizing effect of impacts and vulcanism which dominates the early Earth conditions. his lecture went on further to explain the eventual emergence of the cell membrane and nucleus and even the incorporation of the mitochondria into the eukaryotic cells of the early organisms. He then explained the different challenges these early life forms faced like the oxygen toxicity, the UV rays, and the massive extinctions brought about by impacts, magnetic field shifting, the galactic plane crossing of our solar system and nearby supernova explosion. With these factors explained in relation to the continuing evolution of the surviving specie on Earth which eventually lead to the emergence of man down to the reason of man's cultural and technological evolution. It was a lecture meant to lay the foundation for the series of lectures search for life in the universe. Members where given a rare glimpse of the workings of life down to the biochemical processes and different life processes.
Afterwards, James gave a run down updates on ALP 5th year souvenir program book which will be available finally on next month's meeting amid some delays on its production due to last minute changes of design , format and layout. He also discuss some of the plans of ALP for the upcoming IYA 2009 celebration activities which will be discussed thoroughly in the days to come.
Meeting ended at around 5:30 pm.
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