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.