ALP December 28, 2008 Stargazing Session
by James Kevin Ty
Images by James Kevin Ty, Dr. Armando Lee & Nathaniel
members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) went to Caliraya,
Laguna to have their stargazing session. Among the members who were
present were ALP president James Kevin Ty, ALP VP Dr. Jett Aguilar, ALP NAW/Education
Chairman Dr. Armando Lee, Nathaniel Custodio and Irving Raymundo.
Joining them were students of RTU Astro Tech namely Pauline Divinagracia,
Antonette Icot, Rhyan Coronel and Frank Kelvin Martinez. Also present
were Dr. Lee's wife Mia and son Jason as well as Pauline's mom Fatima.
ALPers meet up at Shell Alabang at around
3:00pm en route to Caliraya while Dr. Lee as well as RTU students and Co.
proceeded to the site from his house in Calamba. They arrive almost at
the same time at around 7:00pm and were greeted with good sky but very
strong wind :) Nevertheless, they proceeded to setup their tents and
equipment at the grassy part of the site.
James brought along his TV-101 refractor on
GP-DX mount while Jett setup his Takahashi TSA-102 refractor on GP-DX mount;
Nathaniel with his William Optics Megrez 90 DFD refractor on GPD2 mount ,
Irving brought his Orion XT10 Dobsonian reflector while Armand brought his
William Optics Zenithstar 80ED refractor on Atlas EQ-6 mount.
RTU students help Dr. Lee
setup the tent for the night
Dr. Jett Aguilar beside his
Takahashi TSA-102 refractor on GP-DX mount.
Irving Raymundo beside his
Orion XT10 Dobsonian Reflector
Nathaniel Custodio beside his
William Optics Megrez 90DFD refractor on GPD2 mount.
Dr Armando Lee beside his
William Optics Zenithstar 80ED refractor on Atlas
James Kevin Ty beside his
TV-101 refractor on GP-DX mount.
(L-R) Fatima & Pauline
Divinagracia & Frank Kelvin Martinez relaxed and
gazed at the beautiful stars that evening
Dr. Armando Lee and
Antonette Icot stands their ground against the
strong wind that evening :)
Well, the night started with Astro Gremlins
making a havoc on all members with scopes :( Armand had problems on
his GOTO accuracy ; Nathaniel started out with good results only to find out
that his camera battery run out on him after a few exposures ; James got
into trouble with his RA motors after accidentally hitting the RA motor
housing while adjusting the mount's altitude control thus has to disassemble
the entire RA housing and only to find out clouds keep covering his target
of the night , Horsehead Nebula after making the system run smoothly
again ; Jett also got trouble with his controller's cable as well.
Talk about luck :) LOL But all of them got to get their system working
again but the sky suddenly becomes cloudy again :(
NGC2024/ B33 Horsehead Nebula
in Orion by Nathaniel Custodio
M42 Great Orion Nebula in
Orion by Dr. Armando Lee
M45 Pleiades Star Cluster in
Taurus by Dr. Armando Lee
NGC3293 Open Star Cluster in
Carina by Dr. Armando Lee
Nevertheless, as the night progresses, most
of them did visual observation most of the time as it was hard to image
because of fast clouds passing through most of the areas being imaged :(
Through Irving's 10" reflector, Saturn was a beauty and almost showing an
edge on ring. Wind was exceptionally strong that time, the strongest
so far James had experienced in the 5 years of his Caliraya sessions.
Also it was also very cold that evening and all had to wear thick sweaters
and drink coffee to warm themselves up.
At around 4:00am, Jett, Irving , Nathaniel
and James had to go back to Manila because of early morning commitments, Dr.
Lee and family as well as RTU students waited till morning before heading
back home. Amid the weird circumstances that hounded the group that
evening, most of them still got time to enjoy the evening with observations,
simple imaging and chat.
The group are expecting to go back to the
site again this coming January with promises to get better imaging results
the next time around :)
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