January 15, 2010 Partial Solar
by James Kevin Ty
In the afternoon of January
15, 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
(SMBY) to observe and image the partial solar eclipse. Maximum
eclipse of 26.7% will occur at around 4:44pm. Among
the members who participated were ALP President James
Kevin Ty, VP Jett Aguilar, PRO Armando Lee, wife Mia &
son Jason Lee , Dante Cruz , Dennis Buenviaje , Andrew
Ian Chan , Berenice Viola Chan, Wilbert Palma , Michael
Cruspero , Kevin Dagunan and Mary Grace Gulde , Crispin "Mopper"
Riosa and Ma. Theresa Masuay , Jennifer Sy, ; RTUA
stro students Rhayan Coronel , Paulne Pearl Divinagracia
, Frank Kelvin Martinez , Lordnico Mendoza ; guests
Bernice Qua , Charmaine Cobankiat and Iranian amateur
astronomer Bobby Pejvak.
ALP President James Kevin
Ty & VP Jett Aguilar arrived at AstroCamp Observatory
around 2:00pm ahead of ALP PRO Armand Lee and other
ALPers. They started to setup their telescope
inside the dome perimeter and carefully checking the
azimuth of the Sun to avoid any possible obstruction
that may cover the Sun as it sets.
At around 3:00pm, Armand and
other ALPers started to arrive at the site and quickly
setup their equipment as well. James brought along his
TV-101 refractor and Coronado PST-Ha on Vixen GP-D mount
; Jett with his Borg 77ED refractor on Tak Space Boy
mount ; Armand with his WO Zenithstar 80ED refractor on
Atlas mount ; Andrew with his Skywatcher 80ED refractor
on EQ-1 mount; Bobby brought along WO Zenithstar 70ED
and a 102mm Maksutov-Cassegrain on sturdy mount.
Armand's observatory staffs setup a Coronado PST-Ha as
well as WO 66SD refractor on sturdy tripod.
ALP VP Jett Aguilar check his
system's focus and exposure while waiting for 1st
contact. He brought his setup, Canon 50D DSLR on
Borg 77ED refractor on Tak Space Boy mount.
ALPers as well as RTU astro
students were there to document the eclipse.
ALP PRO Armand Lee posed
beside his setup, Canon 350D DSLR on WO Zenithstar
80ED refractor on Atlas mount.
ALPer Andrew Ian Chan posed
beside his setup, Canon 500D DSLR on Skywatcher 80ED
refractor on EQ-1 mount.
"Wow! Grabe! Its so hot! :)
ALPer Bernice Viola Chan used
a Solar Viewer to safely observe the partial solar
ALP President James Kevin Ty
posed beside his setup, Canon 500D DSLR on TV-101
refractor and Coronado PST-Ha on GP-D mount.
ALPers and guests take a look
at the eclipsed Sun through the camera viewfinder of
a solar filter equipped telescope.
ALPer Wilbert Palma carries a
portable netbook computer to do a live broadcasting
of the ALP partial solar eclipse activity at
AstroCamp Observatory. Want to buy a netbook
ALPers and guests took time
out to chat with fellow members on the ongoing
ALPer Berenice Viola looked at
the eclipsed Sun through a Coronado PST-Ha.
ALP's Iranian guest amateur
astronomer Bobby Pejvak imaged the eclipse with
his Canon 5D Mark II DSLR on WO Zenithstar 70ED
refractor and 102mm Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope on
ALP Astro-imagers beside their
James is all smiles as he look
at the eclipsed Sun through a solar viewer.
(L-R) ALPers Dennis Buenviaje,
Dante Cruz , VP Jett Aguilar and Berenice Viola
Students and onlookers observe
the eclipse through the camera big 3" LCD screen
after every shot. One of the safest type of
solar observation technique.
They calibrated their time with
their GPS to get accurate time to be used to determine
the first contact time. AT around 3:49pm, the Moon made
a small nip on the 5 o'clock position and all of
them started to fire away at the eclipsed Sun!
Also a nice view to the eclipse is the presence of large
AR 11040 sunspot group which shows a beautiful umbra and
penumbral structure :) Since the sunspot group is
situated a little north, the Moon started to cover or
eclipse it at around 4:09pm.
As the eclipse progressed, more
or more people started to flock the
perimeter to inquire about the eclipse. ALP
President James took time off between exposures to let
some onlookers get a chance to view the eclipse with
some of his extra solar viewers. Some of the
people opted to wait for an image to come out of the
camera LCD screen to see the eclipse safely :)
With the clouds covering the
Sun time over time, James decided to forgo imaging
through the PST-Ha and concentrated on white light full
disk imaging at the TV-101 refractor. Maximum
eclipse of 26.7% occurred at around 4:44pm.
As the Sun gets lower and
lower, exposure become a big problem for James as well
as the rest of the imagers at the site as using the
Baader 5.0 filter becomes very dim and had to
alternately use the photographic 3.8 filter to get
a properly exposed shot. Removing the filter tends
to be too bright so James had to contend with using
slower shutters on some occasions to get a properly
exposed image. They had to wait till around 5:40pm
before removing all the filters to image the magnificent
setting eclipsed Sun! At this time, the Sun was
devoid of any thick clouds so members had a great time
imaging the Sun till it got covered by the very thin
mountain slope of Corregidor. One good extra bonus
for the ALPers was the presence of Cloud Top Green Flash
which was describe by Atmospheric Optics expert Les
Cowley as the 2nd variant of green flash effect called
"Cloud Top Flash." Les commented: "This is possibly a
'cloud-top' flash. There are two broad flash types, one
is the classical Jules Verne flash when the the last
sliver of sun disappears beneath the horizon. The other,
much harder to see visually but more often photographed,
is where the top of the sun flashes
much of the disk is still above the horizon. The
cloud-top flash is a variant of the second type and
it might be caused by an inversion layer associated
with the cloud top. We do not fully understand
As the Sun is setting midway
toward the horizon, a sweet , romantic couple riding on
a small boat pass in front of the setting Sun to give
ALP imagers a chance to get an "Obra Maestra" shot and
one of the lucky imager, ALP President James Kevin Ty ,
got featured at front page of
spaceweather.com January 16
Before packing up their things,
ALPers posed for some group shots to celebrate a
successful documentation of the partial solar eclipse!
Wacky Shot !!!
After an exhaustive but
enjoyable ALP activity, ALPers went to nearby President
Restaurant in SMBY to have a delicious dinner!
Solar Eclipse Photo Gallery taken by other ALPers
Be a fan of ALP
Facebook Page !!!
Live webcast of ALP Partial Solar Eclipse Observation
at AstroCamp Observatory
AstroCamp Observatory Twitter Page