October 17, 2010 ALP Monthly Meeting  Report
by James Kevin Ty & Christopher Louie Lu

Last October 17, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) held their monthly meeting at the Manila Planetarium at 3:00pm.  Members who attended were ALP President James Kevin Ty and son Kendrick Cole (KC) Ty, PRO Armando Lee , Myra Lee  and son Jason Lee, director Angie Tan Carlsen & hubby Frank Carlsen, Belen Pabunan, Mark Ian Singson, Tommy Tan, Nel Lagda and guest Ronald Sison.

Meeting started at around 3:30pm with ALPer Christopher Louie Lu presenting a lecture on Asterism & Astro Folklore and Orionid Meteor Shower.  Below is his short summary of his lecture.


A star-pattern that is not a constellation. Asterisms may be contained within a single constellation or consist of stars belonging to different constellations. An asterism may be composed of stars from one or more of the official constellations. Their mostly simple shapes and few stars make these patterns easy to identify, and thus particularly useful to those learning to familiarize themselves with the night sky.  


A traditional sacred story, typically revolving around the activities of gods and  heroes, which purports to explain a natural phenomenon and cultural practice.


To the ancient Greeks, Aquila was the servant of Zeus who held the god's thunderbolts and performed errands for him. He may also be the great eagle who devours Prometheus' liver as punishment for giving fire to humans.


The identity of Cygnus is uncertain. He could be Zeus in the guise in which he seduced Leda, the mother of Helen of Troy. Possibly the swan is Orpheus, transformed and set in the sky to be near his harp. In one myth, Cygnus is a friend of Phaethon, the son of Apollo, the sun god. Phaethon fell into the river Eridanus, trying to drive the sun-gods chariot. Cygnus dove repeatedly into the water to search for Phaethon. Out of pity, Zeus turned the boy into a swan.


According to Greek mythology, the lyre was invented by Hermes as a child when he strung a tortoise shell. He traded the lyre to Apollo, who then gave it to his son, Orpheus, a great poet and musician. Some Asian traditions see the bright star Vega as the Weaving-Princess star who marries a shepherd, the star Altair.


The dog of the giant hunter Orion who stands above it in the heavens. He leads it in the chase of the hare (Lepus) or the fox (Canis Minor).


Orion was a famed hunter, and in one story boasted that no creature could kill him. Hera then sent a scorpion to sting the hunter. Orion smashed the animal with his club, but not before he was poisoned. Both are now on opposite sides of the sky. They cannot be seen at the same time.


Zeus had fallen in love, or lust, with Europa, a famously beautiful princess of Phoenicia. When he approached her however, with his amorous intentions, he was rejected by the princess and sent away. Not one to be denied his pleasures, Zeus took on the form of a gorgeous snow white bull, and came to the princess while she was relaxing in the garden with her attendants.

When she saw the bull she was delighted, and she immediately ran over to pet its back. Enjoying the animal so much, she even hopped up on the bulls back for a ride. This is when Zeus seized his opportunity, speeding off with her in tow, leaping into the ocean, and swimming all of the way to the island of Crete.

On Crete, Zeus revealed his true identity, and gave her a variety of magical gifts. This was too much for the princess, and she was overwhelmed by his passionate desires. She later went on to become the first queen of Crete.


Seven nymphs whose stars form the "tail of the Bull" Taurus. The sisters were placed amongst the stars by the god Zeus, after the lustful giant Orion had pursued them across the earth for seven years. Orion was also set in heaven, but doomed to continue a futile chase for all eternity.

Chris then proceeded to give a short discussion on the Orionid Meteor Shower which will peak more or less on October 21 but is not favorable because it is close to the Full Moon :(

ALPer Chris Lu lectures on Asterism & Astro Folklores

ALPer Chris Lu gave also a summary of the upcoming Orionid Meteor Shower's prospect.

ALP PRO Armando Lee gave a summary of the results of the just concluded 4th IOAA competition in Beijing, China wherein he was one of the 2 coaches that helped the Philippine team got 2 honorable mentions in the said event.

ALP President James Kevin Ty gave a summary of the just concluded 1st InOMN event that was held at the AstroCamp Observatory in SM MOA San Miguel by the Bay.

ALP President James Kevin Ty also gave a full report of his Comet 103/P Hartley 2 recovery with fellow ALPer Andrew Ian Chan at PAGASA Observatory.

ALPers relaxed & listened to the several lectures and reports during the meeting.

ALP PRO Armando Lee then gave a summary of the 4th IOAA that was held  in Beijing, China last September 12-21, 2010. During this event, he Philippines got 2 honorable mentions on the said event.  Armand was designated one of the 2 coaches for the Philippine Team.  See related stories here.

ALP President James Kevin Ty then gave a summary of the September 18th free public Moon viewing that was held at AstroCamp Observatory in SM Mall of Asia San Miguel by the Bay from 6:00pm to 9:00pm to celebrate the 1st  International Observing the Moon Night (InOMN). The event was a great success with more than 400 viewers getting their chance to observe the Moon for free through low, medium and high power views.  He also thank fellow ALPers who help out in the event as well as to Cutting Edge who provided dinner packs as well as brought a telescope as well to help in the event. Cutting Edge through Star Paper Corp is the official Celestron dealer / distributor in the country. Thank you all !!!  See related report here.

Lastly, James also reported on the successful recovery of the Comet 103/P Hartley 2 made by him and fellow ALPer Andrew Ian Chan at PAGASA Observatory in UP Diliman.  He reported that the comet was not visible through naked eye and binoculars and was only visible photographically in sub-urban area.  They intend to observe and image it again next time on October 28 under the dark skies of Caliraya, Laguna.

The meeting ended at around 5:30pm .


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