March 28, 2009 ALP Stargazing Session and Annual Philippine Messier Marathon Open
by:  James Kevin Ty & Peter Benedict Tubalinal
Images by James Kevin Ty , Armando Lee & Vincent Lao


Last March 28, 2009, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) went to Caliraya, Laguna to observe and image as well as participate in the annual Philippine Messier Marathon Open. Members who were present are ALP President James Kevin Ty, VP Dr. Jett Aguilar, Treasurer Henry So, Membership Chairperson Angie Tan, Peter Benedict Tubalinal,  Dr. Armando Lee, Vincent Lao, Dennis Buenviaje, Tommy Tan, Antoinette Icot, Rosalyn Penol, Marc Anthony Honrade, Irving Raymundo, RTU students Frank Kelvin Martinez , Ma. Angela Lourdes Lequiron , Pauline Pearl M. Divinagracia  & Miguel M. Artificio. MS Astro students Cris Ayaton as well as guest Jesse Nuque.

This year's 3rd Philippine Messier Marathon Open participants were ALPers Peter Benedict Tubalinal, Vincent Lao, Mark Anthony Honrade, Rosalyn Penol, Antoinette Icot. RTU BS Astro Tech students Frank Kelvin Martinez, Ma. Angela Lourdes Lequiron, Pauline Pearl Divinagracia and Miguel Artificio joined Antoinette while MS Astro's Cris Ayaton were joined by fellow classmates Rosalyn Penol & Mark Anthony Honrade as well as guest Jessie Nuque.  The MS Astronomy students decided to join forces for the Messier Marathon.

Right after the sun had set, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines who arrived early took time to view and image the beautiful one-day old moon. ALPers who brought their telescopes were James Kevin Ty with his TV-101 refractor on GP-DX mount; Jett Aguilar with his huge Celestron C11 SCT  and Takahashi TSA-102 refractor on GP-DX mount; Armando Lee with his Celestron C80ED refractor on ASGT mount; Peter Tubalinal with Jett's Stellarvue AT1010 refractor on Telepod mount; Tommy Tan with his Apex 127 on Porta mount; Angie Tan with her Orion ST-80 refractor on tripod; Vincent Lao with his Orion Starblast 130 Newtonian reflector on EQ-1 mount; Henry So with his Zenithstar 80ED refractor on tripod.

ALPers who arrived early at the site set up their scopes and did some bird watching while waiting for the Sun to set.

1 Day Old Moon with Earthshine by Vincent Lao.

(R-L) ALPer Jett Aguilar beside his Tak TSA102 refractor with fellow ALPers Irving Raymundo & Peter Benedict Tubalinal.

(R-L) ALPer Vincent Lao  with Orion Starblast 130 reflector and ALPer Dennis Buenviaje.

ALPer James Kevin Ty beside his TV-101 refractor.

(L-R) ALPers / RTU MS Astro students Mark Anthony Honrade , Rosalyn Penol, Jessie Nuque & Chris Ayaton

ALPer Armando Lee beside his C-80ED refractor

ALPer Peter Tubalinal again tops this year's Messier Marathon by bagging al 110 objects.

The place was divided into groups. One area was for the marathoners, and the other was for the imagers. The marathoners started early after sunset with Messier Marathon Chairman Peter Benedict Tubalinal leading the rest of the participants in trying to observe all the 100 Messier objects in one night.

ALPers  astrophotographers James Kevin Ty, Jett Aguilar, Armando Lee set up their telescopes for imaging that evening.  Some of the objects that they were able to image include open star clusters M6 & M7; Globular M4 & Omega Centauri; Eta Carina Nebula; galaxies M51, 81, 82 & Summer Milky Way. After midnight, the summer Milky Way was a sight to behold as it stretched from Scorpius region to Cygnus region! As always, with good transparency comes heavy dewing so Jett and James had their dew heaters turned on at high mode. :)

M4 Globular Cluster in Scorpius by James Kevin Ty

M6 Open Star Cluster in Scorpius by James Kevin Ty

M7 Open Star Cluster in Scorpius by James Kevin Ty

Summer Milky Way Scorpius / Sagittarius Region by James Kevin Ty

M20 Triffid Nebula in Sagittarius by Armando Lee

M51 Whirlpool Galaxy in Ursa Major by Armando Lee

M81 / M82 Galaxy Pair in Ursa Major by Armando Lee

NGC3372 Eta Carina Nebula in Carina by Armando Lee

Summer Milky Way Scorpius / Sagittarius Region by Vincent Lao

Summer Milky Way  Region by Vincent Lao

They observed and imaged 'till around 5:00 a.m. They all then rested and took a short nap before packing up their stuffs with a happy heart. As for the Messier Marathon results, Peter Benedict O. Tubalinal was able to spot all 110 Messier objects for the second time. The first one was in 2007. Here are the participants together with the results:

Peter Benedict O. Tubalinal - 110
Vincent Lao - 55
Frank Kelvin S. Martinez - 33
Ma. Angela Lourdes Lequiron - 29
Pauline Pearl M. Divinagracia - 28
Antonette Icot - 26
Miguel M. Artificio - 23

All participants (except Peter and Vincent) were from the Rizal Technological University. Three more participants who came from RTU who made a group effort in the marathon: Cris L. Ayaton, Mark Anthony A. Honrade,
and Rosalyn A. PeÑol. They spotted 50 Messiers. (Group effort in a messier marathon is allowed but they will
not be entitled for certificates) .  Congratulations to the Messier Marathoners! 


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