January 1, 2010 Partial Lunar
by James Kevin Ty
In the early morning of January
1, some members of the Astronomical League of the
Philippines (ALP) went to fellow ALPer Armandfo Lee's
Astro Camp Observatory at SM MOA San Miguel by the Bay
to observe and image the partial lunar eclipse. Among
the members who participated were ALP President James
Kevin Ty, wife Charito and son Kendrick Cole Ty, PRO
Armando Lee, wife Mia , son Jason Lee &
Mia's mom, Christopher "Benci" Lee and Sandra Torita,
Kevin Dagunan and Mary Grace Gulde , Crispin "Mopper"
Riosa and Ma. Theresa Masuay.
James and family arrived there
2pm as they had New Year celebration at his in law
place. Armand and the rest were already there at
the observatory earlier in the evening providing some
free telescope views to the public to celebrate IYA Year
End celebration. It was also a special day for
astronomers as this Jan 1 has a unique rare blue Moon
(meaning 2 full moons in a month) and a partial lunar
eclipse altogether. As quoted by spaceweather.com ,
"Blue Moons are rare (once every 2.5 years). Blue Moons
on New Year's Eve are rarer still (once every 19 years).
How rare is a lunar eclipse of a Blue Moon on New Year's
A search of NASA's
Five Millennium Catalogue of Lunar Eclipses
provides an approximate answer. In the next 1000 years,
Blue Moons on New Year's Eve will be eclipsed only 11
times (once every 91 years). A year of special note is
2848 when there will be two lunar eclipses in
December--on Dec. 1st and Dec. 31st. Such a double-Blue
Moon-lunar eclipse ending on New Year's Eve appears to
be a millennium-level event. That's rare!!!"
When James arrived at the site,
all the roads near the site were closed because there
was a concert near the mall area and he had to park the
car farther thus have to drag his setup to the observing
site in a more tiring way :( Armand had warned him
of the possible scenario earlier in the afternoon and
that helps a lot as James opted to leave the planned use
of his heavier refractor and mount and instead use the
much lighter Meade ETX-90AT :) Its still a little
heavy but to compare it with his usual TV-101 setup, it
is almost 3x lighter :) LOL
Once he arrived at the
observing site, he quickly do a rough polar alignment
and had setup his imaging system in less than 10
minutes. He was able to start imaging at around
2:15am. Armand opted to use his WO 66SD refractor
on a sturdy tripod to image the eclipse while also
setting up the Orion ST80 as well as the 10" dobsonian
reflector for visual use.
ALPer Benci Lee show a
passerby the eclipsed Moon.
Numerous scopes were setup to
let members and guest observe the eclipsed Moon.
ALPers also use that
opportunity to celebrate New Year as well as observe
the blue Moon and partial lunar eclipse at the same
KC posed beside his scope that
he lend his dad to use for this eclipse for
Although umbra starts at around
2:53am, they were able to see the slight shading of the
penumbra as early as 2:30am and become more
pronounced at around 3:23am when maximum 8% umbra
shading occurred. On the other hand, James'
already notice slight penumbral shading in his image at
around 2:20am which started near the bright crater Tycho.
The umbra shadow touches the southern part of the Moon
only. One good note about this eclipse is the
surprisingly clear sky that followed after the New Year
Eve's fireworks :)
ALP President James Kevin Ty
image the eclipse through Meade ETX-90AT and Canon
Astro Kids KC and Jason waited
for their turn at the scope to get a good view of
the eclipse through the 10" dobsonian reflector and
assisted by ALP PRO Armando Lee.
The eclipsed Moon on this
scope rocks!!! Yahoo!
Astro Kid KC takes a look at
the eclipse moon through his ETX-90AT :)
At around 5:00am, James and
Benci took their last image on the last visible trace of
shading that can be seen in the camera viewfinder before
calling it a day! Before they packed up their
scope, they had a group picture taken for posterity.
Happy New Year To All !!!
January 1, 2010 Partial Lunar Eclipse Sequence Shots
Wacky Shot !!!
Lunar Eclipse Photo Gallery taken by other ALPers