March 4, 2012 ALP Philippine Messier Marathon Open & Stargazing Report
by James Kevin Ty
Images by James Kevin Ty , Arnel Campos, Christopher Lee, Stephanie Dawn Sotomayor & Jan Karlo Hernandez

Last March 24, ALP as well as ALP guests went to Caliraya, Laguna to join the  ALP Philippine Messier Marathon Open that is held annually for members and guests to test their skills in locating the 110 Messier objects under the dark skies of Caliraya, Laguna.

ALPers who attended the event were ALP President James Kevin Ty with wife Charito and son Kendrick Cole KC Ty;  ALP NAW Chairman / Secretary Christopher Louie Lu, wife Karren and daughter Frances;  director s Peter Benedict Tubalinal, Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan & Iah Serna; Christopher Lee & Sandra Torita; Gary Andreassen with wife Irma and son Steinar Andreassen; Sheldon Espartero; Jan Karlo Hernandez with his dad Junn and sisters; Oliver de Guzman, Mike Enage, Ronald Sison & family; Erika Valdueza & Mark Anthony Rivera; Mark Ian Singson & Christina Decena; Arnel Campos & wife Michelle; Mark Vornhusen, Kaye Banaag & family ; Nathaniel Custodio & family ; Stephanie Dawn Sotomayor & hubby; guests Irving Raymundo as well as from UP Astrosoc namely Carlo Ray Selabao ,  Beb Jansen Poricallan , Ann Margarette Tayco , Norman MascariƱas ,  Regyn Avena ,  Christian Alagon , Ma. Criselda Roque , Mary Angelie Alagao , Jerome Sabidong & Anthony Urbano. More than 60 participants for this year's event thus making it the biggest participant of this event since its inception.

ALPer Jan Karlo Hernandez and sisters

ALPers setting up their telescopes right after sunset.

ALPers checking the astro equipment of other members.

ALP director Christopher Lee & Kyla Nicole Campos

They started to arrived at the site at around 5:00pm and car queue at the site was very long and Anthony Urbano was quoted to say " that he cannot see both ends of the car park despite their car being parked at the center ! :)"  Sky was partly clear and members and participants were awe at the number of stars visible despite the partly clear sky!  Messier marathoners then started to search for the 110 fuzzies that evening.

Orion & Canis Major by Stephanie Dawn Sotomayor

Ursa Major by Stephanie Dawn Sotomayor

Auriga by Stephanie Dawn Sotomayor

M42 Orion Nebula by Oliver de Guzman

Comet 2009 P1 Garradd by James Kevin Ty

Star Trails by Mike Enage

Some members who didn't join the marathon opted to use the opportunity to image that evening.  ALP President James Kevin Ty was able to image Comet 2009 P1 Garradd that evening while Oliver was able to image M42 Orion Nebula. Stephanie was able to do some wide field fixed tripod shots as well as Alex Enage,  It was a nice session that evening indeed but luck then suddenly turn bad  after midnight as it rained continuously till the morning so the imagers were forced to end their session.  Some observers , on the other hand, were still able to continue to observe through the windows of their cars :) 

With that situation , ALP President James Kevin Ty and Messier Marathon chairman Peter Benedict Tubalinal agreed to have another Messier Marathon part 2 on April 21 to give  the participants a better chance to find more Messier objects under better sky they hope.

ALP President James Kevin Ty sharing his image of the comet to fellow members.

ALPers starts to disassemble their telescopes in the morning.

ALPers Mark Vornhusen & Mike Enage

ALPers Iah Serna, Andrew Ian Chan, Joshua Herrera & Kristine Joy Perez

Astro Kids Kendrick Cole KC Ty & Frances Lu together with their parents, ALPers James Kevin & Charito Ty with Christopher Louie & Karren Lu.

Messier Marathon Master Peter Benedict Tubalinal discuss with ALPer Oliver de Guzman.

ALPer Ronald Sison and family

ALPers Gary Andreassen with wife Irma, Mark Ian Singson & Christina Decena, Arnel and Michelle Campos.

ALPer Jan Karlo Hernandez and family posed with fellow ALPers James Kevin Ty & Christopher Louie Lu and their families.

Wacky group shot at Jollibee Pagsanjan.

Group Shot At Jollibee Pagsanjan :)

They started to leave in the morning after taking their traditional group picture and some of them proceeded to go to Jollibee Pagsanjan to have  breakfast before gong home.

For the first heat of the Messier Marathon, the following scores were tallied by the participants are as follows:

Peter Benedict Tubalinal - 92
Mark Ian Singson - 62
Sheldon Espartero - 46
Christian Alagon (UP Astro) - 38
Ann Margarette Tayco (UP Astro) - 35
Regyn Avena (UP Astro) - 35
Ma. Criselda Roque (UP Astro) - 35
Gary Steinar Andreassen - 20
Carlo Ray Selabao (UP Astro) - 17
Beb Jansen Poricallan (UP Astro) - 17
Angelie Alagao (UP Astro) - 16
Jerome Sabidong (UP Astro) - 15
Jan Karlo Hernandez - 14
Arnel Campos - 6


Serious Group Shot

Wacky Shot ! See you again on April 21st!!!





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