Monday, December 21, 2009

More January events

Here are some January Night Sky Events:

1 - Partial Lunar Eclipse (3:23 AM)
3 - Quadrantids Meteor Shower Peak (4:66 PM)
15 - New Moon (3:11 PM)
- Partial Solar Eclipse (5:02 PM)
30 - Full Moon (2:17 PM)

Enjoy and Clear skies to all!

A Meteor Shower Observer's Poem

Here is a short poem from one of the first time observers of a meteor shower from the Junior Philippine Physics Society.

Unfortunately, his first viewing was met with cloudy weather. He was only able to see 5 meteors that night.

"A moonless night, No stars in sight
Waiting to see, a streak of light
A falling star, a meteor's light
Not once, not twice, but 5 tonight."
-Thomas Villegas

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This Month's Meteor Shower

January's meteor shower will be the Quadrantid meteor shower.
Peak: January 3 4:33 PM
Activity: Jan 1 - 5
Rate: ZHR 100/hr (20-30 when observed 6 hours before and after peak)
Remarks: Lasts for a few hours, hardly observed. Although short, peak produces plenty streaks.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

JPPS explore the night sky

In line with the IYA2009 celebration, the JPPS began a stargazing series entitled

Exploring the Hidden Wonders of the Night Sky.

The idea is taken from IYA's theme "The Universe, Yours to Discover," in which the JPPS will allow first time telescope users to see what they usually don't see at night.

Most of the first time users have not even seen the milky way on a clear dark night, nor have they seen the satellites of planets, the galaxies and nebulae (items listed in the NGC).

The first session was welcomed with scattered rain showers and technical problems, but this did not discourage the JPPS from pushing through with the activity. The 8 inch celestron reflector (Celestron 8) of the physics department had molds growing on the lens due to improper storage, and therefore could not be used. We ended up using the Firstscope 114C reflector in observing. After a few hours,we were graced to observe Jupiter and its moons. We viewed Jupiter through a 10mm and 25mm eyepiece.

We hope the rainy weather won't continue for future stargazing sessions.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Going Bonkerz on Celestia

During the Founder's day celebration of Silliman University, I spent about a week explaining astronomy in the physics booth with the use of Celestia. We won over-all booth champion twice when this program was used(3 years participating, no celestia for 2008). Everyone loves to observe the space simulation, especially with the help of a projector (yeah, thanks Rosette!).

I decided to visit for updates of the program, and I saw features that were in my version that I haven't explored. I began thinkering about with the program for two hours, and whoa, did i enjoy!

Before I download all the add ons that I can get perhaps I'll do another review for the Philippine Journal of Astronomy - this time on the Celestia software.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

IYA2009 Philippine Olympiad

The National Organizing Commitee of the IYA2009, in cooperation with UP NISMED, will be holding the first IYA2009 Philippine Olympiad. The Olympiad is open to both secondary and collegiate level, both competing in their respective levels. The Olympiad will be conducted in two stages: a regional and a national.

The regional eliminations will be held simultaneously in 17 regions of the country. The eliminations has been postponed to November 7. The finals will be held at UP-NISMED, Quezon City on 11 December 2009

You can download the registration form here:

For more details visit the IYA2009 Philippines Official Website.

For queries please contact Dr. Merle C. Tan, Director of UP-NISMED and Chairperson of the IYA2009 Olympiad at telephone numbers 981-8500 loc. 3901 to 3910, 927-4276 and 928-1563 or through

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Online Astronomy for Philippines

One of the problems for those who engage in astronomy in the Philippines is the archipelago itself. It is hard to involve yourself in an astronomy community when you are seperated by islands.

The best thing for those who can't afford to travel much is to be updated via the net. And with the rise of social networks such as friendster, facebook, etc., I thought of coming up with an astronomy oriented social network.

The network would allow us to be more interactive in comparisson to a mailing list. Astronomical groups can post their activities and photos that can be shared with everyone else. In a way, we would be promoting astronomy in the Philippines.

The network is made in ning, a free social network:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Solar Eclipse

On July 22, there will be a total solar eclipse. However, for the Philippines, the eclipse is only observable as a partial solar eclipse.

The duration of the eclipse will be from 8:48 - 11:08 in the morning. Depending where you are in the Philippines, the maximum of the eclipse would be at around 49.3%. The Astronomical League of the Philippines will have an expedition to Wuhan, China to document the total solar eclipse. You can read about it in ALP's website (click the link on the sidebar).

Now, if you would browse the net, there are a lot of misconceptions on how to safely view a solar eclipse. It is UNSAFE to use the following, i repeat, UNSAFE:
color film, black and white film with no silver (chromogenic film), film negatives with images, smoked glass, sunglasses, photographic neutral density filters, and polarizing filters.

There are solar filters that can be used but you have to be sure those are the appropriate filters. Probably the safest way to view the solar eclipse is by projecting the image to a screen, however I advice you to do so with someone who has experience in solar projection/solar astronomy.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Meteor Shower

July's meteor shower will be the Delta Aquarids meteor shower.
Peak: July 28 10:09
Activity: --
Rate: --
Remarks: --
Constellation: Aquarius

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Silliman IYA2009 Group

Silliman University has organized a group that will handle IYA related activities. The group would allow students of Silliman (and hopefully including other schools) to participate and acheive awareness with regards to the International Year of Astronomy.

The group is to be under Junior Philippine Physics Society (JPPS) and is to be advised by Anatoly Karpov Buss. Although under the JPPS, the group is open to all students and orgs regardless of scholastic discipline.

If the activities turn out well, we would establish an Astronomical Society in Silliman. I have raised the suggestion to Raymund Ang of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) and he said that they are willing to be partners with the group.

I hope this will work out and be a success!
Clear skies!

Monday, March 23, 2009

First Phlippine Produced Astronomer

Congratulations to Dr. Armando Lee, the very first Filipino with an MS in Astronomy to finish in the Philippines. Dr. Lee is a graduate of RTU's MS Astronomy program.

Currently, there are 11 students in RTU's MS Astronomy program and less than 20 students in their BS Astronomy Technology degree.

I hope that many more astronomers will be produced in the Philippines!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Comet Lulin

For those who weren't able to view Comet Lulin, here are some images:

Image: NASA/Bill Ingalls

This image of comet Lulin (center-right) is seen through the trees from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, Monday, Feb. 23, 2009. Lulin, also known as the green comet, made its closest approach to the Earth overnight.


Image: Joseph Brimacombe

Friday, February 20, 2009

What's on the sky 2nyt?

1. VENUS SHINES - Feb 19, Venus shined with a magnitude of -4.5 in the constellation Virgo

2. COMET LULIN - Feb 24 will be the closest approach of comet Lulin on Earth

3. PLANETS HERE - Mars, Mercury and Jupiter will be prominent in the evening of the remaining days of February. Watch them as they shine closely to the moon.

4. BOOM - A huge gamma-ray explosion was detected. The energy produced in the explosion is greater than 9,000 supernovae. This has been the largest gamma-ray burst in history.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Withering in the Weather

The Ironies of Weather Foul-ups in Stargazing at the Start of the Year

Last Monday, 9 Feb. 2009, there was a penumbral lunar eclipse, which occured from 8:30 - 12 in the morning. Unfortunately, here in Dumaguete City, the weather provided a very minimal view of the moon.

Dumaguete, as you may have heard in the news, experienced flash flood on Saturday (Feb 7). The following night however provided a clear view of the almost full moon. Hoping for good weather, me and my friends waited for the night and then... we were dismayed by the cloudy skies. Ironically, the following night (Feb 10), the moon was clear as a gem in the night.

Another irony was during the annular solar eclipse. I was suppose to have a class at the time of the eclipse, but we just happened to be dismissed early. I was glad since I thought I would not get to see it. Unfortunately all the dark rain clouds covered up the sun.

The weather always plays as a sinister factor when it comes to stargazing. And ironic as it is, in the past weeks, clear skies seem to happen when I don't do any observing. I hope the rest of the astronomical events and viewing schedules for the IYA won't be obscurred by foul weather.

Clear Skies to All! (Please!)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Partial Solar Eclipse

As posted earlier, there would be two partial SOLAR (hehe.. sorry if i wrote lunar last time) eclipses visible in the Philippines. The first occured last Jan 26 with 71%, but unfortunately for some areas, such as Iligan and Dumaguete, the rainy weather blocked the view of this event. For those in Manila, they were able to see the eclipse.

Anyways, there is still one more chance for this year (which may i remind those who don't know, is the IYA2009). The second solar eclipse will occur on July 22, 2009. This time, it would be in the morning, but only at 49% (growing smaller as you move south).

Clear Skies!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

1st Philippine Astronomy Convention

The Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) will be having the very first Philippine Astronomy Convention. This will be held in the Rizal Technological University in Mandaluyong, on February 15, 2009. EVERYONE is invited to attend!

You can download the invitation at: