Friday, May 6, 2016

Manila Street Astronomers Schedule

The Manila Street Astronomers is a non-profit outreach astronomy group.
Part of our aim is to foster cooperation and collaboration among the local astronomy community. That is why our members comprise of volunteers from different astronomy organizations and the general public. Be part of our growing group - professional astronomers, amateur astronomers, astronomy and space enthusiasts, stargazers, everyone can take part. No membership fee/monthly dues of any kind required, just a passion to share and promote astronomy and other STEM areas.

Join us in our upcoming events [I shall try to update this post every time we have a new event]:



or learn more about us at our:
Website

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Space Robots

It's summer once again and while some kids are going places during their vacation, some are joining summer camps. This summer I was tasked to create a robotics camp for SMILE (Specializing in Modern Interactive Learning Experiences) Group. The Space Race camp, which is a cross between robotics and space sciences, runs for 8 sessions. Here they get to use Lego Mindstorm's EV3 and design and program it as a space rover. They get to understand how robots are used in space exploration as well as understand the features of different space landscapes and phenomena.


In reality robots dominate the space exploration scene. One fundamental reason for this is that space is a harsh environment. It actually costs more for human space exploration than for robotic missions. Humans require life support systems - supply of air, water and food; radiation shielding; temperature control, etc. Also, humans are subject to physical and psychological problems during long periods of space flight and isolation.

Robots in space exist in many forms such as landers, rovers, orbiters, and utility bots. They are designed for specific environments and for specific functions. Here are some of them:

Curiosity Rover
Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover. The task of Curiosity is to study the Martian geology in order to find out whether Mars could have supported Microbial life






Robonaut2 (R2)
A humanoid robot designed to be a helper for astronauts.












Canadarm
Shuttle Remote Manipuator System (SRMS). This robotic arm captures, repairs, and deploys satellite's out into space.








Valkyrie (R5)

NASA's Robonaut 5. This humanoid robot is designed to operate in extreme space environments.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Solar Eclipse



Here is my coverage of the March 9 Partial Solar Eclipse as seen from Project 6, Quezon City, Philippines. I setup my Sky-Watcher Explorer 150PL with my Baader solar filter for imaging and my Celestron Travelscope 70 with black polymer filter for visual observation. The initial forecast in the morning suggested partly cloudy skies but was fortunate to get good conditions except for the end of the eclipse.

The umbral shadow will pass through the waters of Indonesia giving us only a partial view. Originally the plan was for me and my friends from the International School for Young Astronomers to meet back at Indonesia for the eclipse but we weren't able to do so. Instead I took a leave today from work to cover the eclipse. As the eclipse progressed I tried to share the observations to the general public via Facebook.




The rest of the astronomical community are dispersed in different areas to cover the eclipse. In the coming days I hope I can feature the different solar eclipse activities here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ignite 2016

On February 29, 2016 four astronomy groups came together for a collaborative solar astronomy workshop entitled "Ignite 2016". The whole day workshop was held at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines Laboratory High School (PUP LHS). The participants were exposed to four areas:
  • Solar observation and eclipse details
  • Telescope basics
  • Solar Astronomy lecture
  • Astronomy virtual tour



This workshop was done to assist the newly established Astronomy, Science and Technological Research Association (ASTRA) of the PUPLHS. This effort was made possible through the cooperation of the Guild for Astronomy Innovation and Advancement (GAIA), the University of the Philippines Astronomical Society, and the Manila Street Astronomers (MSA).





For more event photos visit link 1 and link 2.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Filipino Astronomy Blogs

Below is a listing of astronomy blogs (including mixed blogs, and blog-style astronomy websites).

Philippine Astronomy Blogs
Blog Author(s) Year Started
First Light Kin Enriquez 2005
The Sky Above Erika Valdueza 2007
SU-Physics Junior Philippine Physics Society 2007
Stargazers Norman Marigza 2008
TV-101 Blog Page James Kevin Ty 2008
Amateur Astronomer Ezekiel 2008
Tani&#39s Astronomy Log Nathaniel Custodio 2008
Lunar20 Reynold Chong 2009
Eclipse Hunter Jodl Gayatin 2009
Paper, Chalkdust and Stars Edward Von Delelis 2010
Chinilicious&#39 Topsy Turvy Town Crisel Tungala 2010
Philippine Astronomy Raymund John Ang 2010
Journey to the Stars Criselda Roque 2010
Amateur Astronomy Adventures Marvin Xylon Jaen 2010
The Night Sky in Focus Anthony Guiller Urbano 2011
Diffraction Limited Dennis Llante 2011
Astronomy & Living by Hernando Hernando Bautista 2011
DSLR Astrophotography Philippines Leo Dy 2012
The AstroBirder Vincent R. Lao 2012
RTU Astrosoc RTU Astronomy Society 2012
Sky Observer Margareth Custodio 2012
Luminism Shubhashish Banerjee 2015
Sidereal Times UP Astronomical Society
Stardust Observatory John Nassr
JVNoriega Astro Images JV Noriega
The Cosmic Wanderer Maria Sobina Yu 2015

You can also access a full description on the nature of these blogs in my 2012 seminar paper (as soon as the link becomes ready) entitled Astronomy Blogging as a Medium for Developing Astronomy Education in the Philippines.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Dots in Space

Meet Aedan Pio, an intelligent 4-year old boy with a passion for space. He dreams of being an astronaut, and is a promising astro artist who does watercolor paintings of the planets. Sadly, Pio has a condition called chordoma (a rare kind of brain cancer).

To assist Pio, the Lung Center of the Philippines in coordination with Oxygen Art + Design Gallery will be hosting a fund raising art exhibit entitled Dots in Space. The exhibit will run from Sept 4 - Oct 6, 2015 at the lobby of the Lung Center (Quezon Avenue, Quezon City). Pio has several watercolor paintings of the solar system being sold as well as some paintings by his grandmother. I also contributed four paintings in the exhibit. Other astro artists and imagers are encouraged to add to the ongoing exhibit to help Pio.

As I looked at Pio's paintings I was amazed how he has certain details about the planets such as their colors and features. One particular painting I saw has all the terrestrial planets on one side and the gas giants on the other with Pluto located away from the line-up in accordance with its current dwarf planet status. During the short chat I had with Pio he asked me why Jupiter is so big. I was also surprised to Pio's response when his mom told him to ask me what is Jupiter made off. He responded by saying that Jupiter is made of mostly Hydrogen and Helium.

One of Pio's paintings.

For those interested to contribute you may contact me here, or reach the exhibit curator Dara Solevilla at 09153023274.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Astronomy Convention

 
The University of the Philippines Astronomical Society will be holding an Astronomy Convention for High School Teachers and Students. The convention will be for 3-days and 2-nights (November 7-9) at Anne Raquel's Resort in Olongapo City.

The convention will host lectures and lab activities for students and a Teaching workshop/seminar for the high school teachers.

For more information you can visit the convention's Facebook page or contact
upastrosociety@gmail.com
or Trizzia Tiwaquen at 09279831919