July 5, 2015 ALP Monthly Meeting Report
by James Kevin Ty and Christopher Louie Lu
 

Last July 5, ALP held their monthly meeting at Exploreum at SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.  Members who attended were ALP President James Kevin Ty , wife Charito and son Kendrick Cole KC Ty;  Secretary Christopher Louie Lu, wife Karren and daughter Frances Lu; Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan and Iah Serna;  Auditor Edgar Ang, PRO Edge Lat , directors Ronald Sison , Mike Enage and Peter Benedict Tubalinal , Shubhashish Banerjee , Mark Ian Singson and new member Joyce Gonsalves.

Meeting started at around 2:30pm with ALP Secretary Christopher Louie Lu discussing on the celestial highlights for the month of July and latest updates on New Horizon encounter with Pluto.  On July 14 the New Horizons Probe will be making its closest flyby to the dwarf planet, Pluto. This will be the first man-made probe to visit Pluto & Charon system since it was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930.

The goals of this mission are as follows:

·         Map the surface composition of Pluto and Charon

·         Characterize the geology and morphology of Pluto and Charon

·         Characterize the neutral atmosphere of Pluto and its escape rate

·         Search for an atmosphere around Charon

·         Map surface temperatures on Pluto and Charon

·         Search for rings and additional satellites around Pluto

·         Conduct similar investigations of one or more Kuiper Belt object.

This mission is primarily conducted by Southwestern Research Institute & University of John Hopkins: Applied Physics Laboratory with its primary investigator Alan Stern.

Mission timeline:

·       The probe lifted off from Pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida at 14:00 EST on January 19, 2006.

·       The first 13 months included spacecraft and instrument checkouts, instrument calibrations, small trajectory correction maneuvers and rehearsals for the Jupiter encounter. New Horizons passed the orbit of Mars on April 7, 2006; it also tracked a small asteroid, later named "132524 APL", in June 2006.

·       New Horizons Jupiter approach occurred February 28, 2007. Moving about 51,000 miles per hour (about 23 kilometers per second), New Horizons flew about 3 to 4 times closer to Jupiter than the Cassini spacecraft, coming within 1.4 million miles (2.3 million kilometers) of the large planet..

·       During the cruise, New Horizons also crossed the orbits of Saturn (June 8, 2008), Uranus (March 18, 2011) and Neptune (August 25, 2014).

·       Ten years and three billion miles later... On December 7, 2014, after nearly nine years in space, with most of that time spent in hibernation, the New Horizons spacecraft is awaken for Pluto/Charon flyby.

After it's encounter with Pluto & Charon, the New Horizons Probe will continue on & encounter other Kieper Belt Object beyond the orbit of Pluto that hopefully will answer some question about the early formation of our Solar System.

Afterwards. Singaporean amateur astronomer and astrophotographer Remus CJ shared his astrophotography  tips and his recent Australian outback astro imaging trip.  He also touched on the critical aspect on how to get your best astro images using portable telescopes and mount. He then showcase some of his best astro works at the end of his lecture.

Unfortunately, weather was very bad as it was raining whole day so the planned Global SUNDay free solar viewing session had to be cancelled :(  A consolation they did was to get a group shot with the Global  SUNDay banner. The meeting ended at around 5:30pm.

After the meeting, they went to Starbucks to have their AstroKapihan to continue to discuss astro related topics over coffee. They wrapped up the session at around 8:00pm.

ALP President James Kevin Ty welcome the members and guests to their July monthly meeting.

ALPers and guests listen as James introduce the lecturers of the day.

ALP Secretary Christopher Louie Lu provides updates on the July celestial event highlights.

ALP Secretary Christopher Louie Lu lecture on the current updates on New Horizon spacecraft that will be at its closest encounter with Pluto.

Singaporean amateur astronomer and astrophotographer Remus CJ shared his very informative astrophotography tips and his recent astro imaging session in the Australian outback.

Remus also showcase his best astro images at the end of his lecture.

ALPers posed for a group shot after the weather didn't cooperate the whole day for the planned Global SUNDay free solar viewing session.

ALPers conquer Starbucks once again after ALP monthly meeting!

ALPers needed more than 4-5 tables and numerous seats at Starbucks.

Astro Moms and Kids had their own separate table for discussion and mine craft session respectively. :)

 

 

 

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