May 15, 2016 ALP Monthly Meeting Report
by James Kevin Ty
Images by James Kevin Ty and Christopher Louie Lu

Last May 15th, ALP held their monthly meeting at Exploreum at SM Mall of Asia. Members who attended were ALP President James Kevin Ty and son Kendrick Cole KC Ty; Secretary Christopher Louie Lu ;  Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan, director Iah Serna , Fung Yu , Alvin Sia and Aireen Grace Andal. Meeting started at around 3:30pm with ALP Secretary Christopher Louie Lu updating  this month's celestial highlights as well as giving a lecture on Planet 9.

Back in the 80's, we were taught in school that there are 9 planets in our solar system. Namely Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune & Pluto. That, however, changed when in 1994 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted Pluto to be a 'Dwarf Planet'. This reduced the count of planets in our solar system down to 8 and the debate of this decision of the IAU is still being talked about among astronomers, professional & amateur alike.

However, a series of recent discoveries has led astronomers to believe that there is actually a 9th planet beyond the orbit of Pluto, calling it simply for now... Planet 9.

Planet Nine is a hypothetical large planet in the far outer Solar System, the gravitational effects of which would explain the unusual orbital configuration of a group of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) that orbit mostly beyond the Kuiper belt. - Wikipedia

Though there is no direct evidence of it's existence yet there are however, indirect evidence that astronomers can detect by way of the orbital characteristics of different Trans-Neptunian Objects within the Kuiper Belt. These objects  share certain orbital characteristics, such as eccentricity, inclination & distance from the Sun, that suggest that a larger object has gravitationally influenced their orbit around the Sun. Below is the list of TNO’s that has orbital commonality with each other.

Object Diameter (Km) Orbital Period Eccentricity Inclination (deg)
2012 VP113 600 4300 yrs 0.70 24
2013 RF98 80 5600 yrs 0.88 29.6
2004 VN112 200 5850 yrs 0.85 25.6
2010 GB174 200 6600 yrs 0.87 21.5
2007 TG422 200 11200 yrs 0.93 18.6
Sedna 1000 11400 yrs 0.86 11.9

If & when this 9th Planet is finally discovered  through either optical or Infra Red telescopes,  this will tell a lot about the evolution of our solar system.

Afterwards, ALP President James Kevin Ty then inform members of the upcoming twin solar viewing activities hosted by SolarActivity Solar Festival on June 19 as well as Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project International SUNDay which will be held on June 26.  He then proceeded with giving members a short intro on basic webcam imaging.  He touched on the difference of using a color and monochrome webcam as well as pointing out the pros and cons of each model. James will discuss the 2nd part of the lecture this coming June monthly meeting.

Meeting ended at around 5:30pm.

ALPers listen to ALP Secretary Christopher Louie Lu as he shares the celestial highlights for the month of May.

ALP Secretary Christopher Louie Lu lectures on Planet 9.

ALP President James Kevin Ty announce the 2 upcoming solar viewing activities for the month of June.

ALP President James Kevin Ty lectures on Basic Webcam Imaging.

ALP President James Kevin Ty posed beside Exploreum's largest scope, a Celestron C14 SCT on CGE Pro mount.

Astro Dinner at Cabalen




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