October 9, 2011 ALP Monthly Meeting Report
by James Kevin Ty

Last October 9, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) attended their monthly meeting at Manila Planetarium despite hard rain and slight flooding in some areas of Manila.   Members who attended were ALP President James Kevin Ty , Charito Ty and son Kendrick Cole KC Ty ,  PRO Armando Lee, Mia Lee and son Jason Lee, directors Rich Pijuan ,  Bel Pabunan, Christopher Louie Lu and wife Karen and daughter Frances Lu, Arnel Campos , John Ray Cabrera , Norman Marigza, Joanne Quirante Escober with daughters Charrie & Ricci Escober and Nel Lagda.

Meeting started at around 3:30pm with ALP director Rich Pijuan continue her 4th installment of her Astro Painting basic course which tackles on cloud formations and sky.  She showed the members and their children on the different types of cloud formations and also on how to draw them accurately.

This was followed by another lecture by Special Events chairman Christopher Louie Lu who touched on Orionid Meteor Shower as well as Ancient Astronomy.

Throughout the centuries, Chris explained that Astronomy had achieved so much knowledge from exploration and discovery.  With the use of modern and high tech instruments we can see, touch and smell things that are way beyond our reach and still we know so little of  the unexplored universe.  But this seem to be not a problem to our ancient forebears who, without the use of modern equipment, tried to understand not just the natural world they lived in but the universe as well.

During the 4th to the 2nd Millenias BCE, intellectual achievements were made by different civilizations and cultures.  It was era of the Sumerians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Chinese and Indians intellect that flourished and expanded the known world.  But on the 1st Millenia BCE,  it was no question that it was the Greeks who conquered this era in intellectual achievements.  Though many famous Greek thinkers and Philosophers has made their mark and contributed a great deal in the field of mathematics, literature, art and science, I would like to concentrate on the Greek intellectuals who made great contributions in the field of astronomy.

      1.      Thales – (c. 629 – 555 BCE) Known as the 1st Philosopher and Scientist

-        He was the first to try to answer questions such as “What is the Universe?” or “What is life?” without invoking the supernatural

2.      Pythagoras – (c. 580 – 500 BCE) He is known as the 1st real mathematician.

-        He linked numbers (arithmetic) to shapes (geometry) and ultimately to nature an astronomy.

-        He proposed that the spheres carrying the Sun, Moon, planets & stars around the Earth are harmonious & could be represented by numbers.

3.      Plato – (c. 427 – 347 BCE) He believed that the natural world is a imperfect representation of   the true Universe and so the only way to learn more of the Universe is by logic &             reason, rather than by observations.

-        He also stated that the sphere is the perfect geometric shape and that all astronomical bodies must be spherical and their motions circular.

-        Built & founded his school in 368 BCE, naming it “the Academy”.

4.      Aristotle – (c. 384 – 322 BCE) A pupil of Plato, he tutored Alexander the Great.

-        His model of the Universe will go unchallenged for the next 2000 years.

-        He recorded the first known views of motion & gravity.

-        Considering the motions of the heavenly bodies, he believed that the laws governing them are different from the laws here on Earth. Where, here on Earth, everything is to remain stationary, the motions of the heavenly bodies were permanent and endless. This meant that heavenly bodies move in circular motion and at constant speeds.


ALPers attended the meeting despite strong rains and some floodings in some parts of Manila.

ALPer Rich Pijuan lectured on her 4th installment of her Astro Painting series.

ALPers listen to the lectures presented by 3 lecturers that afternoon.

ALPer Christopher Louie Lu lectured on Orionid Meteor Shower and Ancient Astronomy Part 1.

ALPer Rich Pijuan teaches the Astro Kids on how to draw and paint different types of cloud formations.

ALPer Armando Lee lectured on how to use different weather updates to help prepare plans for an observation session.

Lastly, ALPer Armando Lee gives some pointers to the members on how to use the different weather reports both local and international to help one prepare and plan for an observation session.  He initially touched on how to select the best time and sites to observe the daytime Sun as well as night time objects such as the Moon , planets and deep sky objects.  Also touched by Armand is on how to analyze different weather maps and measurements so that one can plan and set a successful  observing and imaging session.

The meeting ended at around 5:30pm.



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