April 4, 2015 ALP Total Lunar
Eclipse Observation Report
Kevin Ty and Christopher Louie Lu
Images by James Kevin Ty and Christopher Louie Lu
Last April 4, members
of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) set
up 2 main observing sites at Binondo and San Juan City.
The ALP Binondo team consists of ALP President James
Kevin Ty and son Kendrick Cole KC Ty; Treasurer Andrew
Ian Chan and Shubhashish Banerjee. ALP San Juan
team , on the other hand, consists of ALP Secretary
Christopher Louie Lu, Auditor Edgar Ang and PRO Edge
Lat. Aside from the 2 main sites, other ALPers
observe at their individual homes.
ALP Binondo Team
The ALP Binondo team
consists of ALP President James Kevin Ty and son
Kendrick Cole KC Ty; Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan and
Shubhashish Banerjee meetup at the residence of ALP
Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan at around 5:00pm. James
brought along his Canon EOS 500D DSLR with Canon EF
100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens on Vixen Polarie Star
Tracker; Andrew with his Canon EOS 500D DSLR with Canon
EFS 18-200mm zoom lens on Vixen Polarie Star Tracker ;
Shubhashish with his Canon EOS 7D DSLR on Canon EF
75-300mm zoom lens on Vixen Polarie Star Tracker.
The sky was very cloudy at the
start of the eclipse and they were only able to glimpse
the Moon already deep into its partiality phase at
around 7:15pm PST. At around 7:40pm onwards, the
sky partly cleared up for them to observe totality from
till 7:59pm PST before getting clouded out again.
The Moon re-emerged from the clouds at around 8:10pm
till 8:40pm before they finally got clouded out .
They waited till 9:30pm before calling it a night.
It was a successful eclipse observation as despite the
bad weather prediction due to Typhoon Chedeng, they were
able to observe totality at its finest!
Also take note that PAGASA had
erroneously inform the public through its website's
press release that the Philippines will be only able to
observe a Partial Lunar Eclipse instead of a Total Lunar
Eclipse! ALP President James Kevin Ty contacted
PAGASA on this matter but they insisted that it was
indeed a Partial Eclipse only with an 80% partiality
only. With their observation and images, ALP was able to
confirm that a TOTAL lunar eclipse indeed happened with
the northernmost limb slightly brightened due to
atmospheric refraction. Despite the brightening,
they were able to prove that it was still immerse inside
the Earth's limb with 3 images showing same exposure and
setting before and after totality. The Before and
After Totality shot shows the bright limb to be
overexposed while the totality shot has a bright limb
which is still properly exposed! Also, eclipse
expert and friend Fred Espenak's 5 minutes totality
duration was correct compared to the computation of 12
minutes predicted by USNO.
ALP San Juan Team
What are the chances of seeing a
#TotalLunarEclipse during a
tropical storm? Next to none. But that doesn't stop
Edge Lat & myself who
diligently watched over cloudy skies to observe & image
The group assembled at 05:30pm and proceeded to
Lu Andy (my Brother's)
roofdeck & started to setup our various imaging
equipment. I had my Celestron Powerseeker 80EQ with
Canon 450d on prime focus & a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42
on piggy-back. Edge with his Canon 60d with Canon 300mm
IS Lens on a sturdy tripod & Edgar with a Canon 40d with
Canon 250mm Lens on a Polarie mount & sturdy tripod.
However, thick clouds has gathered over the eastern
horizon from TS 'Chedeng' but despite this we waited for
any chance for a break in the clouds to make the eclipse
visible to us even for just a few minutes. And the wait
paid off at around 07:30pm, then in a sudden burst of
activity, me & fellow ALPers started imaging an almost #TotalLunarEclipse.
The Moon went in and out of the clouds which made it
more difficult to image. Then just before Totality, the
sky blanketed our view making our team miss what should
be an awesome 'Red Moon'. Unfazed, the skies opened once
again for a brief moment before it finally closed for
the final time making us miss the rest of the eclipse.
They waited till 09:00pm before deciding to pack up and
call it a night. However hard it was for them to record
this celestial event, the images that they took home
with them was worth the wait & patience.
They also would like to give special mention & thanks to
Chris' brother Andy and
Lu for hosting their small team on their roofdeck,
otherwise, this session would not have been possible.
For total lunar eclipse images
taken by other ALPers, click