Wednesday, January 29, 2020

National Astronomy Week 2020


27th National Astronomy Week
Feb 16 - 22

Theme: A New Decade of Opportunities in Philippine Astronomy

Updated: Feb 14 11:59
Pre-NAW Activities
09
10
Free Telescope Viewing
Venue: PAGASA Astronomical Observatory, UPD
Organizers: UP AstroSoc

11
Poster Making Contest
Organizers:MSU-IIT CED
Location: CED MSU-IIT

12
13
Astronomy Quiz Bowl & Film Showing
Organizers:MSU-IIT CED
Location: CED Amphitheatre


#LookUp: Skywatching Organizers: IAU Astronomical Society
Location: Sacred Heart School, Ateneo de Cebu

14
Lecture Series Organizers:MSU-IIT CED


Free Solar Viewing Organizers:GAS
Location: DLSAU Grounds

15
Astro Camp Organizers:MSU-IIT CED


Astro Contests
Organizers: PAS
Location: St. Paul University Manila

Official NAW Activities
16
Free Telescope Viewing
Organizers: ALP
Location: SM Mall of Asia


Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Science Garden


Free Stargazing
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Observatory

17
Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Science Garden


Free Stargazing
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Observatory

18
Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Science Garden


Free Stargazing
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Observatory

19
Ephemeris Deadline
Organizers: UP AstroSoc


Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Science Garden


Free Stargazing
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Observatory


Lecture Series
Organizers: UPB Astonomy Society
Location: UP Baguio

20
Postponed
Seminar/Workshop on Astronomy for Public Science Teachers
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: Baguio City


Postponed
Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: Baguio City


Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Science Garden


Free Stargazing
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Observatory


Lecture Series
Organizers: UPB Astonomy Society
Location: UP Baguio

21
Postponed
Star Party Contest for HS
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: Baguio City


Postponed to March 13
Ad Astra 2020
Organizers: Ateneo LeaPs
in partnership with PAS
Location: Bellarmine Field, AdMU


Postponed
Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: Baguio City


Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Science Garden


Free Stargazing
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Observatory

22
Free Telescope Viewing
Organizers: ALP
Location: SM Mall of Asia


Postponed to March 7
UP AstroSoc Culminating Activities
Venue: UP Diliman
Organizers: UP AstroSoc


Journalism Workshop, & Earth and Space Symposium
Organizers: BSYA & PAS
Location: San Beda University


Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Science Garden


Free Stargazing
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Observatory

Post-NAW Activities
23
24
25
26
27
Astronomy Night
Venue: UST
Organizers: UST APSoc & MSA,
28
Star Trails
(Deadline of Submissions)
Organizers: UP AstroSoc

29

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Astroimaging Session Dec16

Last Monday my friend Cliff and I set out to a property owned by their family to do some equipment testing and astro-photography. Cliff  acquired a Celestron AVX mount from one of the MSA members earlier this year but never got to really put it to the test. So the objective of the night was to get the mount to run smoothly. I brought along my Omni XLT 150 to use. We started out early in the site which was a building undergoing construction. The third floor had an amazing clear view with minor obstructions from the distant mountain side. We usually setup in a darker location in mount Sto. Tomas but this site proved to be ideal as well. The light from Baguio City's central business district was shielded from our view and the transparency helped eliminate the sky glow from the nearby houses.

The mountainside to the North was just low enough that we were actually able to see Polaris and do a proper polar alignment (this was the best alignment we've had since Cliff started doing astrophotography). Prior to this Cliff had to make 18 minute adjustments to the AVX to get it to track correctly (could have been due to adjustments made when rough aligned). After the two-star align process we had to input some calibration stars before getting it to track smoothly.

I was also able to get good alignment for my CG4 but unfortunately failed to check on my collimation. I ended up troubleshooting my collimation for the first part of the session.

With both of our scopes properly aligned the test run ended up being a full-fledged imaging session. We got to image the following targets: double cluster, Triangulum Galaxy, Andromeda galaxy, Running man nebula, Flame nebula, de Mairan's nebula, Orion nebula, Horsehead nebula, Pleiades, Rosette nebula, and Collinder 38. We packed up a few minutes after the Moon came up.




False Alarm. I thought I might have accidentally caught a comet, but I realized it was facing the wrong way. Probably a thin cloud or dust trail from a sporadic.


Monday, March 11, 2019

International Dark Sky Week 2019

"The Darkest Nights produce the Brightest Stars"
-John Green



On March 31-April 7 we will be celebrating the International Dark Sky Week 2019 as part of the Global Astronomy Month Celebration. We are encouraging everyone to organize in activities that will promote awareness for the value of dark skies.

Some activities you can do:
Participate in the global citizen-science campaign Globe at Night.

Organize a viewing of videos like "Losing the Dark"

Monday, February 11, 2019

Women and Girls in Philippine Astronomy



In line with the celebration of the United Nations' International Day of Women and Girls, the IAU100 celebrates the Women and Girls in Astronomy. I intended to make a different kind of blog post for today however was not able to find the time to do so. Instead, here is a listing of some of the notable women and girls of the Philippine astronomy community.

Kristine Jane Atienza
Former overall coordinator of the UP Astronomical Society. She is one of the collaborative individuals in the astronomy community working together with different groups and institutions. She is also a founder of the Philippine Union of Student Organizations for Astronomy (PUSO for Astro), and a core member of the Manila Street Astronomers. Kristine also actively takes part in international astronomy conferences and meetings such as those of SEAAN and SGAC. She also spearheaded various projects such as the donation of telescopes to be given to aspiring astronomy groups in the country. Among her current projects is the development of a mobile planetarium for the visually impaired under the IAU Office for Astronomy Development, and the UNAWE Traveling Telescope.


Bernadette Joy Detera
An emerging youth space leader. She is an active member of the Space Generation Advisory Council (be it as a delegate, moderator, or event co-manager), and also the country's current National Point of Contact to SGAC. Bernadette is the former overall coordinator of the UP Astronomical Society, and a volunteer at the Manila Street Astronomers. During her term in UP AstroSoc she was one of the leading students who pushed for the official launching of the PUSO for Astro. She continues to actively support the union even after her term.



Marielle Eduardo
An aspiring astrophysicists. During her undergraduate years in Physics at UP Baguio Marielle has been also active in the astronomy scene. She spent her internship at the PAGASA Observatory looking into variable stars and sunspots. She also participated in several international schools learning more about astronomy and conducting research.


Andreia Carrillo
Currently working for her doctorate at the University of Texas. A PSHS graduate who pursued astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Michigan. She also spent an internship in her first year at the Solar Observation Program of RTU-DESS. She is also organizing web lectures/training in the Filipino Astronomy Group along with Jerome de Leon.


Dr. Reinabelle Reyes
Known as the “Filipina Who Proved Einstein Right” for her work with supermassive blackholes. Dr. Reina is the country's celebrity astrophysicist. Since her return to the Philippines after her post-doc she has been actively giving lectures, handling classes,  working as a data-scientist, and also hosting a science show on TV.


Dr. Jelly Grace Nonesa
Filipina astophysicist who worked on X-ray astronomy and dark matter profiles. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Southern Mindanao.



Imelda Joson
A pioneering figure in Philippine astronomy, together with Edwin Aguirre. They proposed and drafted the executive proclamation for the National Astronomy Week. Imelda Joson has several contributions to local and international groups, which led them to being the first Filipinos to have an asteroid designated after them (6282 Edwelda).



Johanna Erika Valdueza
Geologist with the passion for the stars. Erika is an amateur astronomer and astro-blogger. Despite physical ailment and a lack of support and local opportunities for her research she pursued her masters thesis on a planetary geology topic. She is an alumnus of the UP Astronomical Society, a member of Manila Street Astronomers, Astronomical League of the Philippines, and Philippine Astronomical Society. She also attends various international trainings and conferences in astronomy



Maria Sobina Yu
One of the active high-school students in the local astronomy scene. She is the founder of the Judenite's Astronomical Organization. She is a member of the Astronomical League of the Philippines, Philippine Astronomical Society, and participate in various astronomy projects like the asteroid search campaign, or the Astronomy Translation Network. Sobina is also an astro-blogger.



Ashley Claire Batuigas
This 18-year old student from the University of San Carlos brought to the Philippines India's Society for Space Education Research and Development (SSERD). She is the current head of SSERD Philippines and organized the first Space Camp in Cebu.

Friday, January 18, 2019

National Astronomy Week 2019


26th National Astronomy Week
Feb 17 - 23

Theme: 1sang Siglo: sa Ilalim ng 1sang Kalangitan

Updated: Feb 13 18:08
Pre-NAW Activities
10
Solar Observation
Organizers:RTU AstroSoc
Location: Rainforest Rave Park
11
TALA Outreach
Organizers:RTU AstroSoc

Mobile Planetarium Show & Night Sky Observation
Organizers:RTU AstroSoc
Location: RTU Quadrangle
12
13
Star Trails
(Deadline of Submissions)
Organizers: UP AstroSoc

Ultimate Astronomical Quiz Bowl
Organizers: MSU-IIT CED
Location: CED Amphitheatre
14
15
Mobile Planetarium Show & contests
Organizers:RTU DESS
Location: RTU
16
Philippine Telescope Hour
Organizers: MSA
Venue: Nationwide


PAS Opening Ceremonies
Venue: Aboitiz Hall, San Beda University
Organizers: BSYA & PAS


RTU DESS Division Day
Organizers: RTU DESS
(Tentative)
Official NAW Activities
17
Free Public Viewing
Venue: SMBY, MOA
Organizers: ALP

Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Science Garden

Free Stargazing
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Observatory
18

Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Science Garden

Free Stargazing
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Observatory
19
Exhibit
Venue: NIP, UP Diliman
Organizers: UP AstroSoc

Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Science Garden

Free Stargazing
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Observatory
20
Exhibit
Venue: NIP, UP Diliman
Organizers: UP AstroSoc

Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Science Garden

Free Stargazing
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Observatory
21
Exhibit
Venue: NIP, UP Diliman
Organizers: UP AstroSoc


Research Gala
Venue: RTU
Organizers: RTU DESS

Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Science Garden

Free Stargazing
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Observatory

Free Mobile Planetarium shows
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: Iloilo City
22
Exhibit
Venue: NIP, UP Diliman
Organizers: UP AstroSoc


Research Gala
Venue: RTU
Organizers: RTU DESS

Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Science Garden

Free Stargazing
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Observatory

Free Mobile Planetarium shows
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: Iloilo City

Star Party Contest
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: Iloilo City
23
Free Public Viewing
Venue: SMBY, MOA
Organizers: ALP

Earth and Outer Space Symposium
Venue: Aboitiz Hall, San Beda University
Organizers: BSYA & PAS

UP AstroSoc Culminating Activities
Venue: NIP, UP Diliman
Organizers: UP AstroSoc


Research Gala
Venue: RTU
Organizers: RTU DESS

Free Planetarium Show
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Science Garden

Free Stargazing
Organizers: PAGASA
Location: PAGASA Observatory
Post-NAW Activities
24
Astronomy Convention
Venue: NIP, UP Diliman
Organizers: UP AstroSoc
25
26
27
Astronomy Night
Venue: UST
Organizers: UST APSoc, MSA, PUSO
28


Sunday, January 6, 2019

On Eclipse Visibility

The year 2019 brings us 5 eclipses which is something people are excited about. However, not all of these are visible in the Philippines. Geographical differences affect our view in the sense that at the moment an eclipse takes place in one side of the globe, the other side of the globe does not see it. Of the 5 eclipses, only two are visible from the Philippines (with one needing a geographical advantage in the South).

Jan 6 Partial Solar Eclipse (Not visible in the Philippines)
Jan 20 Total Lunar Eclipse (Not visible in the Philippines)
July 2 Solar Eclipse (Not visible in the Philippines)
July 17 Lunar Eclipse (Eclipse at Moonset, part of eclipse not visible)
Dec 26 Annular Solar Eclipse (Partial for most of the Philippines, annular from the Southernmost tip of Mindanao)

Eclipses happen when an object of roughly the same apparent size covers the other object. In the case of a solar eclipse the configuration is Sun-Moon-Earth, and for lunar it is Sun-Earth-Moon.

The duration and area covered by an eclipse is dependent on how big the shadow is cast by the eclipsing object. For a lunar eclipse the Earth's shadow is cast on the Moon and since the Earth is much bigger it casts a larger shadow. Any area where the umbral shadow is cast when the Moon passes will see a total lunar eclipse. Now note that the Moon's orbit is tilted with respect to the Sun-Earth plane, therefore the angle in which the Moon passes behind the Earth varies. A lunar eclipse lasts longer when the Moon passes as close to the center of the shadow as possible.

The July 17 Lunar eclipse is partly visible from our reference. From our geographical location on the globe (that's right flat-earther's) the Earth will be rotating us away from the eclipse during the 'Blood Moon' phase. Meaning the Philippines will move or rather rotate to the Sun facing side of the Earth as the rest of the eclipse takes place in view from other geographical locations. From our view it can be seen as an eclipse during Moonset.



In the case of a solar eclipse it is the Moon casting a shadow on the Earth. Now since the Moon is smaller it casts a smaller shadow making the eclipsed area smaller. As a result the geographic location experiencing a solar eclipse is very limited. As you can see in the picture on the right (Image by NASA DSCOVR EPiC Team) the shadow of the Moon only covers a certain region. Since the shadow is relatively small a solar eclipse will only last for a short time.

In the case of the December 2019 Annular Solar Eclipse the image below (Fred Espenak|NASA GSFC) shows the eclipse path and regions of the globe they are visible in. The red band is where the center of the Moon's shadow passes where the eclipse will be seen as an "annulus" or ring. Note that when an annular eclipse happens it means that the Moon is further from the Earth on its orbit, which in turn results to an even smaller shadow. For observers in the Philippines the amount in which the Sun is eclipsed will vary depending on how close you are to the shadow. Observers in Luzon will see less of an eclipse as compared to observers in Mindanao.

Before making the Balut island simulation I ran it for Gen San. Even from Gen San it doesn't appear as an annulus.


Note: I accidentally edited the original post while updating the 2019 NAW calendar. I have tried to redo the general content as how I remember it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Three Astronomy Facebook Groups worth Visiting


Facebook is perhaps the most popular social media tool right now. It is a platform that supports many kinds of media and frameworks that enrich the social interaction in the digital scene. One of the popular features of Facebook is the Group.

Listed below are three of the best non-partisan astronomy groups:
*Note: Groups only (not pages) that are run by Filipinos


Group Description: "The ultimate source of information on astronomical discussions on astronomical equipment, observations, events, astrophotography, space programs, astrophysics, astro product reviews, etc. Anyone can join regardless of sex, race, astro affiliation, experience and skill level as long as topic on astronomy and its like are discussed and shared."

This originally started as a yahoo group led by members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines which eventually moved on to the popular FB group format. This is a popular FB group for sharing and discussing photos both by local and foreign astrophotographers. It also serves as an avenue for discussing and selling of equipment. At the time of writing there are 1757 members.


Group Description: "This page is intended for Filipino astronomy and space science enthusiasts and professionals. I hope this will bring us closer together by providing a medium for astronomy development for the country. This may be a subset of a larger existing Filipino Astro group but we want to start from a small circle so that members here can easily belong and participate. We will appreciate if you initiate discussions and share your own experiences to motivate others. We will also update you with relevant opportunities locally and abroad."

This group is more academic and technical in nature with posts usually revolving around research and academic practices in astronomy and space science. Popular post topics include the Philippine Microsatellite program, data processing, as well as conferences and workshops. There are occasional astrophotography posts, most of which are quite recent.


Group Description: Post, review, discuss, buy/sell your astronomy equipment here

This is a buy and sell group for astronomy equipment. It is also frequented by those looking for recommendations for their first telescopes. It also contains some astrophotography content.