ALP February 21, 2009 NAW Public Stargazing Session Report
by:  James Kevin Ty
Images by  James Kevin Ty  &
Jett Aguilar


Last February 21, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) staged a free public stargazing session at Baywalk to conclude their National Astronomy Week celebration. Among the members who were there to help out that evening were ALP President James Kevin Ty and his wife Charito and son Kendrick Cole (KC) Ty, ALP VP Jett Aguilar , his wife Angge and children Justine & Jan Aguilar, ALP Secretary Rich Pijuan, ALP Membership Chairperson Angie Tan, NAW Chairman Armando Lee, ALP director Edgar Ang, Dennis Buenviaje, Vincent Lao, Bel Pabunan, Antoinette Icot, Andrew Ian Chan , Jeffrey Canton (who came all the way from Cebu to join the event), Rosalyn Penol and Mark Anthony Honrade. Antoinette's RTU Astro Tech fellow students Pauline Divinagracia, Miguel Artificio, Cliff Roa, Angela Lequiron were also there to assist the event.  Friends of our members who were also there to support the event were Angie's friends Cherry Cheng & Sheila Mae See, Bel's Planetarium staff Desiree del Rosario, James' mom in law Loly  Caballero, brother in law Anson Ong & son Angelo Luigi Ong.

They started to setup their equipment at around 6:00pm and setup their free public viewing banner to informed the public that there is a free public stargazing session that will be held that evening.  Among the members who brought their equipment to share the night sky with the public were James with his TV-101 refractor on GP-DX mount and ALP's 8" Meade SCT on LX10 mount ; Armand wit his 10" Dobsonian reflector ; Jett with his Stellarvue 80mm refractor on TV Telepod mount; Edgar with his Orion XT6 dobsonian reflector and Andrew with his Skywatcher 80ED refractor on EQ-1 mount.

More than estimated 500 people got a chance to view the night sky during the event.

ALP NAW Chairman Armando Lee is showing Saturn through his big 10" dobsonian reflector to the delight of the crowd.

Oh my gosh! Planet Venus looks like a small crescent Moon!

Many people get to realized how beautiful the night sky was during the event even with the unaided eye.

More than 500 people were able to have a chance to look at stars and planets through different type of telescopes that evening.  As expected , there were again sounds of "Wow!" , "Oh My Gosh!" , "Is that planet Venus?"  that can be heard around the vicinity :) LOL .

ALPers then help each other to accommodate the large crowd by asking them to line up so that they can wait in line for their turn at the scope.  The sky that night was good amid expected light pollution at the site.  ALPers first trained their telescopes at planet Venus which shows a nice thick crescent phase under surprisingly steady seeing!  No color fringing that is common in Venus observation :)  As the people get their view of Venus, they were surprised to see Venus with a crescent phase and thought the were seeing the Mon through the telescope!

As the sky gets darker, telescopes were trained at brightest star Sirius, M42 Orion Nebula, M45 Pleiades star cluster and last but not the least, the ever beautiful ringed planet Saturn.  Although Saturn's ring was tilted almost at the same plane as its equator, the planet was still a joy to look at! The stargazing session lasted till around 9:30pm and ALPers called it a night and set up for their traditional group picture shot with  their telescopes at the foreground beofre they packed up and went home with a happy heart that they were again able to share the night sky with numerous people at the Baywalk.



For more activity images, click here.



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