ALP August 9, 2009 Meeting Report
by James Kevin Ty / Images by James Kevin Ty & Jett Aguilar


Last June 7, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) held its monthly meeting at the Manila Planetarium.  Members who were present that day were James Kevin Ty & son Kendrick Cole (KC)  Ty, Jett Aguilar, Angie Tan,  Melisa Bata, Armando Lee, wife Mia and son Jason, Tommy Tan,  Alberto Lao, Dennis Buenviaje , Henry So, Aileen Rose Sasot , Bel Pabunan, Lou Balayan, Elaine Pena,  Vincent Lao, Lea Visaya, Rome Candaza & brother Arjay Candaza , Romel Palacpac, Wilbert Palma, and guest Dante Cruz & Frank Carlsen.

Meeting stated at around 2:00pm with ALP President James Kevin Ty introducing the lecturers for the day which are the team leaders of each expedition teams of the July 22, 2009 Total Solar Eclipse in Wuhan and Shanghai, China as well as Manila based Partial Solar Eclipse observation at PAGASA and Planetarium.

The lecture started with a short verbal observation report made by Manila coordinator ALPer Henry So who was tasked to handle the event in PAGASA observatory.  He reported that they missed out first contact but was able to observe most of the event till 4th contact.  This was followed by ALPer Bel Pabunan who reported her eclipse observing activities at Manila Planetarium with a short powerpoint presentation.

Afterwards, ALPer Armando Lee made another powerpoint presentation of his observing and trip to She Shan, Shanghai. From his report, Armando told the members they were clouded out and missed almost the entire eclipse except for a small window of observation around 8:38am and afterwards, hard rain fell o their observing site/  They were only able to see the darkening of the night sky only.

ALP Treasurer / Manila Eclipse Coordinator Henry So gives a short rundown report of their partial solar eclipse observation at PAGASA observatory.

ALPer Bel Pabunan also gives a good powerpoint account of Planetarium observation of the partial solar eclipse.

ALP Educ Chairman / Shanghai TSE team leader Armando Lee gives a good powerpoint presentation of his eclipse trip in She Shan , Shanghai, China.

ALP President / Wuhan TSE Team Leader James Kevin Ty presented a day by day powerpoint presentation of the Wuhan Team's eclipse observation as well as 6 day trip to Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Last but not the least, ALP President James Kevin Ty then reported on the ALP Main observing site at Wuhan, Hubei Province.  Although clouds also persist in their area, they were able to get the 4 contact times of the event but clouds covered most of the totality times except for some 30-40  seconds of totality times through some thin openings of the clouds.  Since their exposure shots of the totality were longer than normal, only James and Jett were able to image the totality as they brought along their motor driven equatorial mounts.  Exposures run as long as 8 seconds at ISO 800 by James just to capture the inner corona! Although most of the team members had a hard time seeing the totality, James noted that it was easier seen through his camera viewfinder of the Canon DSLR equipped with 100-400mm IS L lens with 2x teleconverter equaling an 800mm lens.  That also guided him on the small window of opportunity to see short spans of totality and got to image them :)  Both James and Jett then later stack their totality images and came out with the initial composite images below:

Initial Composite Eclipse Image taken by James Kevin Ty

Composite Totality Image taken by James Kevin Ty and Jett Aguilar f their totality images

Overall, of all the Philippine contingent that went to China, both from ALP as well as other astro societies, only the Wuhan Expedition Team were successful to image totality.  ALP President James is already setting up plans for another total solar eclipse expedition team that he will lead in Australia in 2012 as well as an annular solar eclipse in China also in 2012.

The meeting ended at around 5:00pm.


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