February 20, 2011 Philippine Astronomy Convention Opening Day Report
by James Kevin Ty
Images taken by James Kevin Ty, Alberto Lao, Jett Aguilar and Christopher Louie Lu

Last February 20, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) celebrated the 3rd Philippine Astronomy Convention 2011 at the Manila Planetarium at 12:00pm.  It is also the country's first industry-sponsored event being sponsored by Cutting Edge - the official exclusive dealer of the high quality Celestron telescopes in the country. Members who were there to assist and help out were ALP President James Kevin Ty ,  Charito Ty and son Kendrick Cole (KC) Ty, VP Jett Aguilar, PRO Armando Lee , Myra Lee  and son Jason Lee, Treasurer / NAW Chairman Andrew Ian Chan , directors Christopher Lee, Henry So, Special Events Chairman Christopher Louie Lu, Bel Pabunan, Desiree del Rosario , Alberto Lao, Nathaniel Custodio, Peter Benedict Tubalinal, Kevin Dagunan, Mark Ian Singson, Dennis Buenviaje, Vincent Lao, Renato dela Pena & Victor Espartero. More than 70 participants attended the event.

Meeting proper started at around 2:00pm with ALP giving the opening remarks to welcome guest , members and registered participants to the opening day of the 3rd Philippine Astronomy Convention 2011 (PAC) . This year's theme is entitled " A Taste of Space." Participating with ALP for PAC2011 are Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center , National Museum Planetarium, Astrocamp Observatory,  Cutting Edge, Rizal Technological University and SM San Miguel by the Bay.  James presented a short history of how the National Astronomy Week started as well as the Philippine Astronomy Convention. 

ALP VP Jett Aguilar then started the workshop / lecture of the day entitled " How to Choose the Right Telescope and Mount” . He tackled on the basics of astronomical telescope optics and its availability to the amateur astronomer . He also introduced different types of mount including the computerized ‘goto’ mount. Also emphasized are on tips and useful info for the beginner on choosing and appropriately using the right telescopes.  He also introduce Cutting Edge as the Philippine dealer and distributor of Celestron Telescope, one of the leading telescope brand in the world.

After a 15 minute short break, ALP President James Kevin Ty then presented the 2nd and last workshop / lecture for the day which is entitled "How to Get Started in Astrophotography”.  He started out by tackling on the necessary equipment needed to get started in this field. Important featured to look for in a digital camera whether digital single lens reflex camera ( DSLR) or point and shoot digicam for astrophotography were discussed thoroughly .  He then followed it up with how to connect the cameras to the telescope as well as suggested exposures on all celestial objects were explained.  Basics on how to shoot the Moon, Sun, planets, star fields, and deep-sky objects were discussed using DSLR system such as Canon lines of DSLRs  and webcam photography such as Philips Toucam, ATK-1HS II, DMKs were explained.as well.  At the end of the presentation, James showcase some of his astrophotography images to the participants. The meeting ends at around 6pm with the traditional group picture taken at the entrance of the Manila Planetarium. 

Celestron Telescopes courtesy of Cutting Edge are on display during the PAC2011 opening day.

More than 45 registered participants signed in for the PAC2011.

ALP directors Henry So and Andrew Ian Chan handle the registration booth.

ALP President James Kevin Ty & ALPer Nathaniel Custodio exchange astrophotography techniques and equipment updates before the start of the opening of PAC2011.

ALP VP Jett Aguilar presented his lecture workshop entitled "How to Choose the Right Telescope and Mount."

ALP President James Kevin Ty and VP Jett Aguilar exchange notes on their workshop lecture.

ALPers posed beside the Celestron display booth.

ALP President James Kevin Ty presented his lecture workshop entitled "How to Get Started in Astrophotography."

Participants listen to James' lecture workshop

Participants listen to Jett's lecture workshop

Serious Shot

Wacky Shot !!!

They then proceeded to Rajah Sulayman Park in Baywalk to stage a free public stargazing session as well as let the registered participants get a hands on in imaging the Moon and Orion Nebula (M42) through James' refractor.  ALPers who were there to help out were ALP President James Kevin Ty, Special Events Chairman Christopher Louie Lu, directors Christopher Lee & Henry So, NAW Chairman Andrew Ian Chan and Bernice Viola Chan , Peter Benedict Tubalinal, Renato dela Pena, Alberto Lao, Charito Ty, Bel Pabunan, Desiree del Rosario, Nel Lagda and the rest of the Manila Planetarium staff.  Cutting Edge Marketing Manager Jen Liza as well as her staffs were also there to show support to the event.   More than  500 people were able to get a good view of the planets Jupiter and Saturn, Orion Nebula (M42) in Orion, M45 Pleiades star cluster in Taurus, bright star Sirius and the Waning Gibbous Moon.

James brought along his TV-101 refractor as well as the Meade 8" f/10 SCT ; Henry with his Orion Apex 127 Maksutov-Cassegrain on sturdy tripod ; Chris Lu with his Celestron Powerseeker 80mm refractor with GEM mount ; Christopher Lee brought Armando Lee's  William Optics Zenithstar 80ED refractor as Celestron ASGT mount ; Manila Planetarium staff brought along their 100mm Skywatcher refractor on EQ-4 mount as well as Celestron 8" SCT. Cutting Edge brought along a Nexstar 4 GOTO scope to share the beauty of the universe to the public. They ended their stargazing session at around 9:45pm with traditional group picture to conclude the opening day affair of the PAC2011. 

ALPers Christopher Lee posed together with wife Sandra and ALPer Cristelle Mariano.   They brought the telescope of ALPer Armando Lee to the site as Armand had to fetch Jason from field trip.

ALP director Henry So is all smile as he share the view of Jupiter through his telescope.

Planetarium's Nel Lagda posed beside the Celestron C8 SCT.

More than 500+ people attended the stargazing session at Baywalk between 6:30pm-9:45pm.


The 3 Camera Afficionados

ALPer Renato dela Pena teached his student how to use as StarMap.

Some of James' CKSC Batch 84s classmates were also there to observe the beauty of the universe.

ALPer CHristopher Lee posed beside the Celestron Nexstar 4 SCT.

Canon Enthusiast Patrick Te Seng attended the PAC2011 activity.

ALPer Alberto Lao supported the PAC2011 by also registering as a registered participant.

ALPers James Kevin Ty & Charito Ty posed with Cutting Edge's Jen Liza.

ALPer Alberto Lao focused on the Moon through his camera's viewfinder connected to the TV-101 refractor.

Patrick used the Live View to focus on the Moon.

ALPers James Kevin Ty & Charito Ty posed with Cutting Edge's Jen Liza and Planetarium Curator Bel Pabunan.

ALP President James Kevin Ty guide the observers on what object the telescope is aligned.

ALPer Christopher Louie Lu pointed his scope to planet Jupiter.

ALPer Peter Benedict Tubalinal teached the kids on how to use a starmap.

ALP President James Kevin Ty posed beside Cutting Edge's Jen Liza and staff.

ALPer Peter Benedict Tubalinal points to Orion Nebula.

ALP President James Kevin Ty posed beside his TV-101 refractor.

ALP director Henry So had a great time sharing the view of Jupiter thorough his scope.

James' CKSC 84 batchmates had as great time observing through the different scopes setup at Baywalk.

Wow!  Nice view of M42 Orion Nebula !

A student uses a star map to locate some of the bright stars and deep sky object that were shown that night.


James shows the astrophotography workshop participants the different adapters that will be used that evening to image M42 and the Moon.

James uses a laser pointer to show the crowd where the telescope is pointing.

A father looked through the telescope while his son gazed at the star above with his naked eye. A future astronomer in the making!

Peter also taught the registered participants how to image the Moon with their point and shoot digicam.

James checked on the results of the images taken by the astrophotography participants.

The stargazing session was extended for another hour as more people continue to line up at the scopes.


Serious Shot

Wacky Shot !!!


For more images of the opening day of the PAC2011, click here.



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