April 2-3, 2011 5th ALP Philippine Messier Marathon Open 2011 Report
by James Kevin Ty & Peter Benedict Tubalinal
Images by Jett Aguilar, James Kevin Ty & Armando Lee

Last April 2, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines attended the 5th ALP Philippine Messier Marathon Open 2011 at the dark skies of Caliraya, Laguna. Members who attended the event were ALP President James Kevin Ty, wife Charito and son Kendrick Cole KC Ty, VP Jett Aguilar, Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan and Iah Serna, PRO Armando Lee , wife Mia and son Jason Lee, directors Rich Pijuan , Christopher Lee and Sandra Lee, Messier Marathon Coordinator Peter Benedict Tubalinal, Mark Ian Singson, Michael Cruspero, Babak Pejvac and Amir Mohammadi , Lourdes Balayan & Ronald Sison. UP Astrosoc members who  join the event were Anthony Urbano, Sigrid Batongbakal,  Ma.Criselda Roque aka Raven Yu, Carlo Ray Selabao (incoming Over-all Coordinator) , Beb Jansen Poricallan (incoming Executive Secretary) , Kristy Abello , Ana Geronimo and Cristina Flores.

ALPers meetup at Jollibee Shell Magallanes from 12:30-1:15pm before going to the second meeting place at Shell Alabang to pick up more ALPers.  They then departed Alabang and heads toward Caliraya, Laguna.  They arrived at the site at around 5:00pm and after some rest, they started to setup their tents and other astro equipment while awaiting for Sun to set .  At around 6:00pm, the sky got clouded out a bit but this does not discourage the participant as they wait patiently for the sky to darken and clear.  Then the sky started to clear up after a while and participants for the Messier Marathon started to scout for  the Messier objects that are starting to set in the western horizon.

At around 7:00pm, Polaris is now visible and the ALP astro-imagers started to polar align their mount toward Polaris so that they can start to do some deep sky imaging that evening.  ALP President James Kevin Ty brought along a very portable Canon EOS 500D DSLR with Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens mounted on the Kenko Sky Memo-R mount. VP Jett Aguilar brought along his Takahashi TSA-102 refractor with Canon EOS 50D DSLR on Takahashi EM-200 Tenma 2 mount ; Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan brought along his Skywatcher 80ED refractor with Canon EOS 500D DSLR on Vixen GP mount; Babak with his Canon Astro 50D Modified DSLR with assortment of Canon EF lens on Takahashi Sky Patrol 2 mount ; Messier Marathon coordinator Peter Benedict Tubalinal with Jett's Stellarvue AT1010 refractor on Telepod mount and binoculars. Christopher Lee brought along a Celestron C90 as well as Rich Pijuan . Ronald Sison with his Celestron C90 on EQ-1 mount. Michael Cruspero, Mark Ian Singson brought binoculars for the event. UP Astrosoc Eteny Urbano brought his 6" f/5 reflector on EQ-1 mount while the other members brought along a 5" reflector as well as a 3" refractor as well as binoculars.

It's chowtime first before the start of the Messier Marathon and Imaging sessions.

ALP VP Jett Aguilar explain his imaging setup to members of UP-Astrosoc.

UP Astrosoc members get a peek at the Coronado PST-Ha to view the Sun in Ha wavelength.

ALPers stop at Palaisdaan sa Bay for a heavy lunch before going home :) Yum Yum!

After they aligned their scopes, they aimed their scopes on different deep sky objects that evening till morning.  Dew that evening till early morning was not that severe as there is plenty of wind for dew to accumulate on their scopes.  Of course, the highlight of the observing session was the clear visual view of the entire Milky Way from Scorpius till Cygnus area!  It was awe inspiring and most of the UP-Astrosoc participants were awed by its beauty and also started to image it section by section :)

The evening was cold and all participants were prepared with their jackets and coffee drinks to keep them warm and cozy :)  Aside from deep sky objects, the group were able to see numerous meteor showers particularly Lyrids as well as artificial satellites and airplanes.  Planets Saturn and Venus were also observed .

In the morning, while everyone is resting and having their breakfast, Jett Aguilar and Andrew Ian Chan setup their scopes for solar white light observation while James Kevin Ty setup his Coronado PST-Ha for solar Ha observation. ALP PRO Armando Lee also setup his Kayak as well as fishing gear for members to ride as well as try fishing at the lake :)  With the strong wind, ALP director Christopher Lee teach the Astro Kids Kendrick Cole KC Ty and Jason Lee on how to fly a kite :)

Messier marathoners then submitted their log sheets to Messier Marathon coordinator Peter Benedict Tubalinal and below are the result of the participant's score from dusk till dawn affair:

Messier Marathon Participants

Peter Benedict Tubalinal (ALP) 110
Christopher Lee  (ALP) 100
Michael Cruspero (ALP) 94
Mark Ian Singson (ALP) 70
Lourdes Balayan (ALP) 23
Kristy Abello (UP AstroSoc / ALP) 23
Carlo Rey Jelabao (UP AstroSoc) 23
Rich Pijuan  (ALP) 21
Beb Jansen Poricallan (UP AstroSoc) 20
Ana Marie Geronimo (UP AstroSoc) 16


Group Shot

WACKY SHOT !!!  See you all again in the 6th ALP Philippine Messier Marathon 2012 !!!


For ALP Caliraya Astro Images Gallery taken this session, click here.

For Activity Images of the event, click here.




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