August 4, 2013 ALP Monthly Meeting Report
by James Kevin Ty &  Christopher Louie Lu

Last August 4, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) held their monthly  meeting at Manila Planetarium.  Members who attended were ALP President James Kevin Ty and son Kendrick Cole KC Ty ; Secretary Christopher Louie Lu , Nathaniel Custodio, Mark Vornhusen and wife Arlene Vornhusen; Justine Garcia, Jason Comia, Katrina Fernando, Marlon Monzon, Bel Pabunan. Liza Quitlong, Max Zabanal & new members Amado Maralit and Jake Ramos.

Meeting proper started at around 3:00pm with ALP Secretary Christopher Louie Lu giving a lecture on "Stories  from the Stars."  Chris said  when he said  “Stories”, what he really meant are myths.  What are Myths? Myths are traditional sacred story, typically revolving around the activities of gods and heroes, which purports to explain a natural phenomenon or cultural practice and in this manner that the ancient Greeks understand and view the world around them.      They also view their gods and heroes differently from us today.  Their heroes was viewed not as a distant memory of centuries past, they are seen as a real person who lived during their lifetime.  That is one of the reason why they so easily emulate heroes such as Hercules, Odysseus.  Their gods in the other-hand lived among them here on Earth and not from a distant lofty height. Also by giving their gods human flaws such as anger, jealousy, lust, their gods has become more mortal than immortal.


 Clash of the Titans

            Cepheus – King of a land called Ethiopia in Greek myth.

            Cassiopeia - Wife of King Cepheus. She was very pretty, and would often brag that she and her daughter were more beautiful than the sea nymphs, the Nereids.

            Cetus ( Sea Monster) - The sea monster sent by Poseidon to devour Andromeda.

            Pegasus - Pegasus represents the white, winged horse of Greek mythology. The story behind Pegasus begins with the battle between Perseus and Medusa. When Perseus severed Medusa's head, drops of blood fell into the sea. They mixed with sea foam, and Pegasus was born.

            Perseus - a Greek hero most famous for his slaying of Medusa. With the help of Hermes' wings and Athena's shield, Perseus killed Medusa without looking at her.

            Scorpio - Is known in mythology as the killer of the mighty hunter Orion.

 Winter Hexagon

            Orion - Many different civilizations saw this constellation in the sky. The most famous stories come from Greek and Roman myths. Orion was a famed hunter, and in one story boasted that no creature could kill him. Hera then sent a scorpion to sting the hunter. Orion smashed the animal with his club, but not before he was poisoned. Both are now on opposite sides of the sky. They cannot be seen at the same time.

            Canis Major & Canis Minor – Traditionally known as the hunting dogs of Orion but the bright star Sirius is also known as the Egyptian Goddess, Isis.

            Gemini – Twin Sons of Leda, Brothers of Helen of Troy. Pollux, as the son of a god (Zeus), was immortal and was renowned for his strength, while his mortal brother (King Tyndarus) Castor was famous for his skill with horses. Both brothers are believed to have joined the Argonauts in search of the golden fleece and they also took part in the sacking of Troy to bring their sister back to Menelaus. The most common explanation for their presence in the heavens is that Pollux was overcome with sorrow when his mortal brother died, and begged Jupiter to allow him to share his immortality. Jupiter, acknowledging the heroism of both brothers, consented and reunited the pair in the heavens.

            Auriga - Auriga represents Hephaestus, the blacksmith god, who was lame and invented the chariot so as to easily travel wherever he wanted. Capella is associated with the mythological she-goat Amalthea. Amalthea is believed to be the foster-mother of Zeus while he was hiding from his father Uranus.

            Taurus - Zeus developed romantic intentions toward Europa, who was not impressed and would have nothing to do with the god. Pulling a slight of hand, Jupiter changed himself into a white bull and wandered towards Europa who was picking flowers in a nearby field. Europa was impressed and petted the snowy white coat and finally got on the bull's back. Immediately the bull dashed away and bore the helpless Europa back to Crete. There, Jupiter revealed himself. Whether Europa was impressed by Jupiter's shape shifting abilities or Jupiter himself, she married him. Taurus is said to represent that bull.

            Pleiades - One story tells that they were the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione. When Atlas was given the task of holding the world on his shoulders, the daughters were so grief stricken that the gods felt sorry for them and transformed them into the stars.

 Summer Triangle

            Cygnus – Is believed to be Zeus disguised as a swan to seduce Leda, the mother of the twin brothers Pollux and Castor and their sister Helen of Troy.

            Aquila - To the ancient Greeks, Aquila was the servant of Zeus who held the god's thunderbolts and performed errands for him.

            Lyra - According to Greek mythology, the lyre was invented by Hermes as a child when he strung a tortoise shell. He traded the lyre to Apollo, who then gave it to his son, Orpheus, a great poet and musician.

 The Zodiac

            Virgo – Demeter and Persephone.

            Libra – Believed to be the scales of Astrea, goddess of law and order.

            Leo – the lion killed by hercules as one of his twelve tasks to redeem himself from killing his own family. Pyramus and Thisbe.

            Ophiuchus - In Greek myth, Ophiuchus represents the god of medicine, Asclepius. Asclepius was the son of Apollo. He learned how to bring people back from the dead, which worried Hades. The god of the underworld asked his brother Zeus to kill the medicine god. Zeus did strike him dead, but then put the figure of Asclepius in the sky to honor him.

This was followed by another interesting lecture by ALPer Nathaniel Custodio who discussed on the second part of his imaging lecture entitled "DSO Imaging with DSLR with Tips & Techniques in IRIS Software Processing."  He started out by introducing the DSLR as one of the most commonly used consumer camera that is both easy to use as well as handle.  He also touched on the pros and cons of the DSLR compare to the dedicated CCD astro cameras.  He then gave good pointers on how to start image acquisition and what correct procedures needed to get  yourself a nice deep sky object (DSO) image for you to be proud of.  He then touched on some basic procedure on how to get started with an astro image processing software called IRIS.  He has a scheduled Part 3 on October monthly meeting to discuss more in detail on how to set the basic settings on IRIS software.

Lastly, ALP President James Kevin Ty  inform the members of the organization's plans to come out with its 10th year anniversary Souvenir Yearbook and encourage members to submit their articles and images for use on the planned yearbook which will come out this September in time for their anniversary party.  James also encourage our fellow members who wasn't able to help out in soliciting ad sponsorship to help the project by getting a copy of the yearbook since ALP only make the yearbook once every 5 years.

The meeting ended at around 6:00pm.



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