February 25, 2012 ALP NAW Closing Activity Report
by James Kevin Ty, Christopher Louie Lu, Jett Aguilar, John Ray Cabrera, Norman Marigza & Christopher Go
Images by James Kevin Ty, Jett Aguilar & Armando Lee

Last February 25, 2012, the Astronomical League of the Philippines in cooperation with Rizal Technological University & RTU Astronomical Society, held its National Astronomy Week Closing Ceremony at Rizal Technological University, Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City.  ALP members who attended were ALP President James Kevin Ty, ALP Vice President Dr. Jett Aguilar, PRO Dr. Armando Lee with wife Mia and son Jason, Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan with Iah Serna, Managing Editor for PJA John Ray Cabrera, Secretary & NAW Chairman Christopher Louie Lu, Arnel Campos, Ronald Sison, Jan Karlo Hernandez, Vincent Gella, and new member s Mike Enage and Mark Vornhusen.along with RTU students of BS Astronomy and members of RTU Astronomical Society.

The event started by honoring the Philippine National Anthem followed by saying the days prayer led by Aldrin Gibuya. Before officially opening the days events, Christopher Louie Lu, thanked & recognized the sponsors & contributors for making this event possible. This was followed by opening remarks given by ALP VP Dr. Jett Aguilar. He thanked everyone for their participation in the days events. He then further enumerated the lined up lectures/talks for the day.

Afterwards, Christopher Louie Lu, introduced the first lecturer for the day, John Ray Cabrera., whose  lecture talks about "Dark Matter, Dark Energy & the Fate of the Universe." It covers the following:

Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Fate of the Universe is about dissecting the cosmic components. The first phase of the lecture deals about baryonic matter, the ordinary matter that comprises all the elements of our visible universe. Then follows as to how the Dark Matter was discovered by Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky and confirmed by American lady astronomer Vera Ruben, accounting the missing mass to explain the tremendous velocities in the orbital speed of galaxies and galaxy clusters. Evidence to substantiate the Dark Matter presence were orbital speeds of galaxies and galaxy clusters, red shift methods, gravitational lensing and X-Ray evidence from the Bullet cluster of galaxies. It was calculated that it consists 23% of the entire mass energy distribution.

Dark Matter suspects were rounded up, Axions, Brown Dwarf, Black Holes, MACHO (Massive Compact Halo Objects), Neutrinos, and WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles). In Soudan Underground Mine, Minnesota,  Dark Matter detector which uses Germanium puck in nearly subzero freezing point.

Dark Energy , on the other hand, rips apart the fabric of space, making each points in space stretched exponentially with time as a function of distance. Because Dark Energy is about 72% of the mass energy distribution, the shape of the universe was found to be flat, instead of closed or open universe.

Different theories as to how the universe will end were either debunked or declared. Big Crunch Theory, which states that the metric expansion of the universe will reverse and recollapse into a black hole singularity, was debunked. Big Rip Theory, stating that the scale factor of the universe to be infinite in a finite time, was taken with a grain of salt. Because the calculated winner in the cosmic tug-of-war is the Dark Energy, the theory that may explain the ultimate fate of the universe, the Big Freeze, in which all matters will become too cold to sustain life, is taken with high degree of probability.

The next lecturer introduced, is ALP VP Dr. Jett Aguilar who presented a lecture about “White Light & Hydrogen Alpha Solar Imaging”,  He covers the following:

The Sun, our nearest star, warrants serious study by amateur astronomers because of its dynamic nature, easy accessibility even from light-polluted cities and with small telescopes, and its significant daily impact on earth and its inhabitants.  The physical nature of the Sun, its structure and basic physics were discussed. The origin of various solar phenomena like sunspots (active regions) and the sunspot cycle, solar flares, coronal mass ejections and their relationship to solar magnetic activities were also presented. The lecture then described the technique of white light observation and imaging using various types of solar filters as well as the Herschel wedge. Lastly, the equipment for hydrogen alpha imaging (i.e. Etalon filter) and the technique of hydrogen alpha solar imaging, hydrogen alpha imaging terms, and image processing were explained together with the presentation of sample images.

After Dr. Jett Aguilar's presentation, there was a 10 – 15 minutes break.  and then Christopher Louie Lu  introduced the Philippines premier planetary imager & discoverer of Jupiter's “Red Spot Jr.” Christopher Go, whose topic is “Secrets & Tips in Planetary Imaging”, which is summarized as follows:

The future of planetary imaging has advanced due to the recent development of more sensitive CCD chips and more advance control and processing software.  The Sony ICX618 is currently the standard in Planetary Camera CCD.  The Firecapture control software allows one to integrate the mount, filter wheels with the camera.  Finally, the introduction of the Winjupos derotatin allows one to overcome the traditional imaging time limit due to planet rotation.

The final lecturer for the days event is RTU's own Reuel Norman Marigza, Jr., who talks about “When the Universe Attacks”, the summary of his presentation is as follows:

The universe is vast, wide, and full of wonders, but it is also full of danger. The universe is a destructive place where potential hazards threaten life on Earth and even the universe as a whole. As we learn more about the universe, the more we can identify energetic and cataclysmic events within it. This talk will deal with 10 possible attacks/threats in the universe, and the concepts behind them: 

Ø      Impactors – objects that will affect us through collisions such as comets, meteors, asteroids, space debris, planetary impacts, and even hyper-velocity stars;

Ø      Solar Storms – blasts of plasma from the sun in the form of coronal mass ejections;

Ø      Supernovae – explosions from collapse of massive stars;

Ø      Black holes – stellar corpses with intense gravity that not even light can escape;

Ø      Death rays – high energy rays in the universe such as cosmic rays, magnetar flares, astrophysical jets and gamma ray bursts;

Ø      Galactic Mergers – collision of galaxies to consolidate into a larger galaxy;

Ø      Aliens – possibility of life elsewhere and hostility from such;

Ø      Darkness – when the stars in the universe run out of fuel, or isolation as a result of expansion, both of which can be associated with a big freeze;

Ø      The Big Rip – a theoretical end through annihilation of all matter in the universe brought about by the continuous acceleration of the universe

Ø      Phase Shift – another theoretical end for the universe dealing with possible changes in the structure of our universe or interactions between multiple universes.


After all the lectures and presentations, Christopher Louie Lu proceeded in awarding the Certificate of Appreciation and Honorarium to all the speakers of the day.  Certificates were awarded with the presence of ALP President James Kevin Ty, ALP VP Dr. Jett Aguillar and NAW Chairman Christopher Louie Lu.  While our events sponsor, Cutting Edge, is represented by Marketing Manager Irene Garcia.  This was then followed by the traditional group picture taking of Speakers, ALP members, RTU Astronomical Society and RTU Astronomy Students.

Both ALP and RTU Astronomical Society members then set up their telescopes in the RTU quadrangle to proceed with observations and free public stargazing.  This event started at 6:30 pm and finished by 8:45 pm


Singing of National Anthem and Opening Prayer was  led by Aldrin Gibuya

Everyone stands up and bow their heads during the prayer invocation.

ALP VP Jett Aguilar welcome RTU students, ALPers and guests to the ALP NAW/PAC closing activity held at RTU Boni.

ALPers and RTU students wait for the program proper to begin.

ALPer John Ray Cabrera   lectures on "Dark Matter, Dark Energy & the Fate of the Universe."

ALPer Christopher Louie Lu is the emcee of the event.

ALP VP Jett Aguilar lectures on "How to do Solar White Light and Ha imaging."

ALPer and Planetary Master Christopher Go lectures on "Secrets and Tips on Planetary Imaging."

Everyone listen attentively on the various lectures presented that afternoon in RTU Boni.

ALPer Reuel Norman Marigza lectures on “When the Universe Attacks”

ALP NAW Chairman Christopher Louie Lu thanked all the presentors as well as sponsors and attendants of the event.

ALP NAW Chairman Christopher Louie Lu presented to ALP VP Jett Aguilar a certificate of appreciation for his lecture as ALP President and Cutting Edge representative looks on.

ALP NAW Chairman Christopher Louie Lu presented to ALP director John Ray Cabrera a certificate of appreciation for his lecture as ALP President and Cutting Edge representative looks on.

ALP NAW Chairman Christopher Louie Lu presented to ALPer Reuel Norman Marigza a certificate of appreciation for his lecture as ALP President and Cutting Edge representative looks on.

ALP NAW Chairman Christopher Louie Lu presented to ALPer Christopher Go a certificate of appreciation for his lecture as ALP President and Cutting Edge representative looks on.

ALP NAW / PAC Closing Activity's presentors had a group shot with fellow ALP directors.

ALP President James Kevin Ty thanked all the attendees, guest, lecturers as well as RTU and its students for a successful event,

ALPer Christopher Go signs autographs for the RTU Astro students after the event.

ALPer Christopher Go posed with some RTU AstroSoc students :)

ALP directors posed with Cutting Edge head Ms Irene Garcia.

ALP director Andrew Ian Chan take a look at the Moon through ALP director Christopher Louie Lu's Celestron Powerseeker 80mm refractor.

ALPers gathered around the Meade 8" SCT for high power views of planets Venus and Jupiter.

ALPers "pray over"  ALP NAW Chairman Christopher Louie Lu while he looks at Jupiter :) LOL

ALP NAW Chairman Christopher Louie Lu share astronomy views and news with RTU students.

ALPers, and RTU students enjoy viewing the night sky through various telescope set ups on the quadrangle.

RTU AstroSoc students setup their Celesctron 8" SCT to join the free stargazing session.


RTU Astro Soc Group Shot

ALP Group Shot

ALP Wacky Shot !

Traditional Group Shot

Wacky Shot !!!



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