January 1, 2010 Partial Lunar Eclipse Report
by James Kevin Ty
Images by James Kevin Ty

In the early morning of January 1, some members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) went to fellow ALPer Armandfo Lee's Astro Camp Observatory at SM MOA San Miguel by the Bay to observe and image the partial lunar eclipse. Among the members who participated were ALP President James Kevin Ty, wife Charito and son Kendrick Cole Ty, PRO Armando Lee, wife Mia ,  son Jason Lee  & Mia's mom, Christopher "Benci" Lee and Sandra Torita, Kevin Dagunan and Mary Grace Gulde , Crispin  "Mopper" Riosa and Ma. Theresa Masuay.

James and family arrived there 2pm as they had New Year celebration at his in law place.  Armand and the rest were already there at the observatory earlier in the evening providing some free telescope views to the public to celebrate IYA Year End celebration.  It was also a special day for astronomers as this Jan 1 has a unique rare blue Moon (meaning 2 full moons in a month) and a partial lunar eclipse altogether. As quoted by spaceweather.com , "Blue Moons are rare (once every 2.5 years). Blue Moons on New Year's Eve are rarer still (once every 19 years). How rare is a lunar eclipse of a Blue Moon on New Year's Eve?

A search of NASA's Five Millennium Catalogue of Lunar Eclipses provides an approximate answer. In the next 1000 years, Blue Moons on New Year's Eve will be eclipsed only 11 times (once every 91 years). A year of special note is 2848 when there will be two lunar eclipses in December--on Dec. 1st and Dec. 31st. Such a double-Blue Moon-lunar eclipse ending on New Year's Eve appears to be a millennium-level event. That's rare!!!"

When James arrived at the site, all the roads near the site were closed because there was a concert near the mall area and he had to park the car farther thus have to drag his setup to the observing site in a more tiring way :(  Armand had warned him of the possible scenario earlier in the afternoon and that helps a lot as James opted to leave the planned use of his heavier refractor and mount and instead use the much lighter Meade ETX-90AT :)  Its still a little heavy but to compare it with his usual TV-101 setup, it is almost 3x lighter :) LOL

Once he arrived at the observing site, he quickly do a rough polar alignment and had setup his imaging system in less than 10 minutes.  He was able to start imaging at around 2:15am.  Armand opted to use his WO 66SD refractor on a sturdy tripod to image the eclipse while also setting up the Orion ST80 as well as the 10" dobsonian reflector for visual use.


ALPer Benci Lee show a passerby the eclipsed Moon.


Numerous scopes were setup to let members and guest observe the eclipsed Moon.

ALPers also use that opportunity to celebrate New Year as well as observe the blue Moon and partial lunar eclipse at the same time :)

KC posed beside his scope that he lend his dad to use for this eclipse for portability :)

Although umbra starts at around 2:53am, they were able to see the slight shading of the penumbra as early as 2:30am  and become more pronounced at around 3:23am when maximum 8% umbra shading occurred.  On the other hand, James' already notice slight penumbral shading in his image at around 2:20am which started near the bright crater Tycho.  The umbra shadow touches the southern part of the Moon only. One good note about this eclipse is the surprisingly clear sky that followed after the New Year Eve's fireworks :)


ALP President James Kevin Ty image the eclipse through Meade ETX-90AT and Canon 500D DSLR.

Astro Kids KC and Jason waited for their turn at the scope to get a good view of the eclipse through the 10" dobsonian reflector and assisted by ALP PRO Armando Lee.


The eclipsed Moon on this scope rocks!!! Yahoo!


Astro Kid KC takes a look at the eclipse moon through his ETX-90AT :)

At around 5:00am, James and Benci took their last image on the last visible trace of shading that can be seen in the camera viewfinder before calling it a day!  Before they packed up their scope, they had a group picture taken for posterity.  Happy New Year To All !!!

January 1, 2010 Partial Lunar Eclipse Sequence Shots

Group Shot

Wacky Shot !!!


Partial Lunar Eclipse Photo Gallery taken by other ALPers



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