During the long weekend I went up to my home town - Baguio City. I checked the weather for Baguio City using weatherspark which was introduced by Dr. Lee in the October meeting of the ALP. The weather was good for that week and my classmate in astronomy, Vanessa, was able to do some observations when she was in Baguio before me. Also, John Nassr from Baguio had wonderful images recently posted to his website.
Since the weather seemed to participate, I brought along my Celestron Travel Scope 70. I seriously put the word "Travel" in the TS 70 to the test for a stargazing tour with my relatives. The telescope is really lightweight and is easy to travel with in its custom backpack.
|Aiming the TS 70 at Jupiter with my cousins.|
My first stop was in Long-long, La Trinidad. It was a dark site with wonderful star studded skies (see previous post). At first we thought we weren't going to be able to see anything since it was cloudy, but knowing Baguio's skies we knew things change quickly (one minute it looks like it's gonna pour, the next it's crazy sunny). I was able to see the Milky Way after a long time and lots of faint stars that I have missed since moving to the highly urban Manila.
|Imaging the stars with an Olympus E-510.|
The following day, we went down to Aringay, La Union to visit our grandparents. My cousin knew a remote site by the sea where the skies were extremely dark. However, clouds began to gather as we set up the scope and camera to view Jupiter. I wanted to observe again the following night in the same site, but we had to wake up early to go to Clark. So I set up in the church however there were a lot of obstructions.
Unfortunately, after we came from Clark, the following nights have been cloudy and I wasn't able to do any more observations. I was able to get some images of the moon and the sunset though.
|Crescent Moon imaged in Aringay.|
Searching for dark sky sites is a must if you really want to see more during your observations. The problem of urban sites is that light pollution washes out the fainter stars and other celestial objects making them virtually invisible. Having access to dark sky sites is a key tool in observational astronomy. Since these sites are usually in remote places it would also be effective to have a grab-&-go scope or a scope that you can easily set-up and take with you on the go.
|Our ride to the observing sites.|
|Waxing Crescent Moon|
|Sunset on the road home from Clark|