June 6, 2012 ALP Venus Transit Luneta Team Report
by James Kevin Ty & Belen Pabunan
Images by Armando Lee ,  Bel Pabunan & Mark Vornhusen

The most awaited astronomical phenomena, the Venus Transit, had been observed on June 6, 2012. The National Museum Planetarium together with the Astronomical League of the Philippines, Inc. (ALP) in cooperation with National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) documented and conducted a free public viewing of the 2012 transit of Venus, the last in the 21st century at Rizal Park, Manila.  ALP Binondo team comprises ALP PRO Armando Lee, wife Mia and son Jason Lee;  ALP directors Christopher Lee & John Ray Cabrera; Kaye Banaag, Jerome Clemente, Mark Ian Singson, Jan Karlo Hernandez, Mark Vornhusen, Sheldon Espartero, Hernando Bautista, Pia Cuarteros, Bel Pabunan and staffs of Manila Planetarium.

They started to setup before sunrise at 5:00am, Clouds obscured the beginning of the transit / ingress that was why they  were not able to get good contact timings of Ingress but still manage to capture some images between  the 1st and 2nd contacts . But as the sky cleared at 7:45 am, documentation and observation continued to the delight of all those present. Armand setup his Orion Apex 127 Mak on CG-5GT mount; Christopher Lee with his Celestron 80mm refractor with Canon EOS 350D DSLR on CG-5GT mountl; Jan Karlo with his Orion Apex 105 Mak on EQ-1 mount;  Mark Vornhusen with his 1000mm Mirror lens and Coronado PST-Ha; Kaye with her Tasco 5" Mak-Newtonian reflector on EQ-2 mount; Bel and staff brought along Celestron C8 SCT and 4" Skywatcher 102 refractor on EQ-3 mount. 

After the greatest transit at around 9:35 am,  they had the traditonal ALP  group picture and then waited for the 3td and 4th contacts.  Promenaders of Rizal Park had also the chance to view and witness the transit of Venus.


ABS-CBN was present to cover the event. Hosts Venus Raj and Andrei Felix, interviewed Ms. Belen Pabunan, Curator II NM-Planetarium.  The interview was aired live on their morning show “Umagang Kay Ganda”. Channel 5 also covered the event and had a chance to interviewed Dr. Armando Lee and Ms. Joey Ubana of Philippine Airlines. The same was aired on their early morning news show.  Also present to document the event were Ms. Girlie Linao of German press and other local press. They stayed till around 9:30am more or less to cover the event.

Weather started to get clear when it reached greatest transit at around 9:30am.  ALPers were also able to let a lot of people get their chance to view the transit through their numerous telescopes! weather continues to be clear till the end of the event which more or less ended at around 12:49pm with all of them having s a good time and not minding the heat of the sun and perspiration. What an amazing and unforgettable experience!!



Ingress I

Ingress II


Greatest Transit Time


Egress III

\Egress IV

Umaga Kay Ganda (UKG) host Venus Raj tries to look at her astro counterpart Venus through ALP PRO Armando Lee's telescope.

ALP Venus Transit Luneta Team Setup Location

ALP director Christopher Lee beside his Venus Transit Imaging Setup

ALPer Sheldon Espartero beside his Venus Transit Imaging Setup

Hundreds of curious spectators swarmed the ALP Luneta Team to get a chance to  view the rare Venus Transit spectacle!

ALPer Mark Vornhusen setup his 1000mm mirror lens to image the event!

ALP Mia Lee beside Armand's  Venus Transit Imaging Setup

ABC 5 crew and reporters got their chaNCE TO

ALPer Christopher Lee  checked on ALPer Jan Karlo's image through Jan's Apex 102 Mak.

Who is the fairest of them all :)

UKG hosts lead Planetarium staffs as well as ALP lady members in doing early aerobic sequence :)  Nice!

UKG hosts posed with ALPers and Manila Planetarium staffs :)

ALPers  Jan Karlo Hernandez and Mark Ian Singson had a great time viewing the Venus Transit!

ALPer Hernando Bautista checked out Armand's setup.

A battery of telescopes were pointed at the Sun to view Venus as it transits across the Sun!

UKG hosts Venus Raj and Andrei Felix interviews Manila Planetarium curator Belen Pabunan.

ABC 5 news interview ALP PRO Armando Lee.

Egress III

Egress IV


ALP Venus Transit Luneta Team Group Shot

To view the complete eclipse images taken by ALP members, click here.



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