ALP February 20, 2010 NAW Public Stargazing Session Report
by:  James Kevin Ty
Images by  James Kevin Ty

Last February 20, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) after the conclusion of the4 2nd Philippine Astronomy Convention at Manila Planetarium proceeded to Rajah Sulayman Park at Baywalk, Luneta to staged a free public stargazing session to conclude their National Astronomy Week celebration. Among the members who were there to help out that evening were ALP President James Kevin Ty , Charito Ty and son Kendrick Cole (KC) Ty, PRO Armando Lee, Myra Lee and son Jason Lee, Treasurer Henry So, Secretary Rich Pijuan, Tommy Tan, Vincent Lao, Andrew Ian Chan, Berenice Viola Chan, Rosalyn Penol, Mark Anthony Honrade, Roldan de Guia, Rommel Palacpac, Ellaine Pena, Lou Balayan, PLM Astrosoc / ALPers Procula Amarillo, Jennifer Sy, Rosemarie Balatbat, Marc Joven Cortel, and Reynen Rose Pausanos ;  Planetarium staff / ALPers Nel Lagda, Desiree del Rosario, Mary Ann Ramirez, Lalaine Yorobe, Maximo Zabanal and members of the PLM Astrosoc. Guests professional astronomer Thijs Kouwenhoven and friends Jon Jon Dimaano , Laysa Salonga of UPLB, Henry's friend Marilene Ng also attended the event.

They started to setup their telescopes at around 6:00pm . ALP President James Kevin brought along KC's Meade ETX90AT and ALP's Meade 8" SCT, PRO Armando Lee brought along his newly bought telescope for his son Jason, an Orion GoScope 80 dobsonian refractor, Andrew brought long his Skywatcher 80ED refractor on EQ-1 mount and Planetarium staff brought along their 4" f/10 refractor on EQ-4 mount.

ALPer Ellaine Pena trained the ALP 8" SCT at the Moon!

RTU's MS Astro students were also there to help the stargazing session as well as enjoy viewing the Moon!

ALPers Andrew Ian and Berenice Viola Chan brought along their Skywatcher 80ED refractor to show the public the lunar craters!

ALPer Mark Anthony Honrade used his digital camera to image the Moon afocally while ALPers and RTU MS Astro students watch his work.

Thijs Kouwenhoven was also there to observe Moon and Mars as well as observe how ALPers operates a public stargazing session.

Thijs Kouwenhoven stood tall beside the ALP's Meade 8" SCT.

Telescope queue lines started to pile up as curious people wanted to know what objects can be seen by the telescopes that evening.

PLM Astrosoc members as well as PLM/ALPers posed for a group shot.  Say Cheeze!

ALPer Andrew Ian Chan pointed his refractor at the Moon while the people waited for their turn at the scope.

The viewers not only take this opportunity to look through the telescope but also use the time to have their picture taken beside a telescope :)

PLM / ALPers take a rest after helping out at the queue lines .

ALPer Rommel Palacpac relieved ALPer Ellaine Pena to had her rested while he handle the 8" SCT that was pointing at planet Mars.

Observing the planet Mars through the 8" SCT has the longest queue line :)

Oh My God!  Mars is beautiful!

ALP President James Kevin Ty also helped out in assisting ALPer Rommel Palacpac at the 8" SCT.

ALP PRO Armando Lee posed with RTU MS Astro students.

The Cute Astro Boys and The Fair Ladies :)

It was the first time for Thijs' friend Jon Jon Dimaano to look at the planet Mars through a large scope. Nice!

More than 300 people were able to have a chance to look at stars and planets through different type of telescopes that evening.  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.  Among the objects that were shown that evening were planet Mars, the quarter Moon, M42 Orion Nebula and M45 Pleiades star cluster.  Seeing that evening was surprisingly clear with Mars showing tremendous amount of Martian features as well as polar ice cap at 339x ! The Quarter Moon was also a show stopper with viewers awed by the many craters that were visible to them both at low and high power!

The stargazing session lasted till around 9:15pm and ALPers called it a night and set up for their traditional group picture shot before 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.

With the conclusion of the National Astronomy Week celebration, ALP would like to thank its  members who were able to help out on the February 14th and 20th Baywalk stargazing sessions as well as the 2nd Philippine Astronomy Convention!  Without their unselfish  dedication, be it small or big, the 2010 National Astronomy Week celebration would not  have been a success!  Thank you ALPers!

ALPers posed for posterity at the end of the stargazing session.

Wacky Shot !!! 



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