Monday, February 27, 2012

Moon-Venus-Jupiter Conjunction

Conjuction taken on 24 February 2012 at the National Institute of Physics after attending a lecture by Dr. Reinabelle Reyes. Image taken with a Nikon D3100.

NAW Closing Ceremonies

Dr. Jett Aguilar gives a talk on Solar Imaging

Christopher Go shares the secrets of planetary imaging

From left: Cutting edge representative, Christopher Lu, Ruby dela Cruz, Norman Marigza, John Cabrera, Christopher Go, Dr. Jett Aguilar, Pauline Divinagracia, James Ty, Dr. Armando Lee, Andrew Chan

RTU AstroSoc

John Ray Cabrera talks about dark matter and dark energy

RTU AstroSoc with ALP
My talk on threats we face from the universe

Astrophysicist Dr. Reinabelle Reyes listening to the talks

ALPers in a wacky shot

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

RTU Pre-NAW Closing

The pre-NAW activities of RTU were graced by two filipino astrophysicists: Reinabelle Reyes during the opening; and Rogel Mari Sese during the closing.

The first talk for that day was given by John Lequiron, a 3rd year BS AstroTech student, on Philippine Astronomy. He was then followed by Dr. Rogel Mari "Romar" Sese.

Dr. Rogel Mari Sese is the designated focal person in the Philippine Space Science Education Program. He gave a talk during regarding the development of astronomical research and education in the Philippines. In his talk he discussed the possible areas for research opportunities to be done in the country:
  • Optical
  • Radio
  • Computational Astrophysics (Modeling and Simulations)
  • Archive Data-Mining and Analysis
  • Collaborations

From left: Dept. Head of RTU's Dept of Earth and Space Sciences Ms. Ruby dela Cruz, RTU-Astrosoc president Pauline Divinagracia, Dr. Rogel Mari Sese. (Image grabbed from P. Divinagracia)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

RTU Pre-NAW Lecture Series

February 14, 2011
As part of the pre-NAW celebrations of Rizal Technological University's Department of Earth and Space Sciences, the RTU Astrosoc conducted a lecture series.

The first lecture was conducted by Miss Girlie Cortez, a 3rd year BS AstroTech student of RTU. Her talk was entitled "The Anatomy of a Comet". This was her very first talk, and despite being nervous, her content was good.

The second lecture was conducted by our very own filipina astrophysicist (a celebrity to the Filipino astronomy community :D), Dr. Reinabelle Reyes from the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago. She is currently working on her post-doc at the University of Chicago where she is studying galaxy formation. Her talk was entitled "The Birth and Death of the Milky Way," a talk she will be giving also in other places such as the recently opened Mind Museum in Taguig. During her talk she focused on three questions which served as a guide in identifying how our own milky way came to be: 'What are we? (Where are we?)'; 'Where did we come from?'; 'Where are we going?'. After her talk there was an open forum where several questions were raised by an interested crowd which Reinabelle generously addressed.
Dr. Reinabelle Reyes with Dr. Jesus Torres, president of RTU, after her talk.

Following after was a thesis deliberation by the 4th year BS Astro Tech students [Pauline Pearl Divinagracia, Maria Angela Lequiron, & Miguel Artificio]. Their thesis was entitled the Development of Astronomy Instrumentation in the Philippines. They pointed out the different astronomical equipments that are present in the Philippines.

After the program ended, Dr. Reinabelle Reyes graced the RTU students with a photo-op and took some time to answer more questions.

From left: Engr. Tangco, Dr. Reinabelle Reyes, Lordnico Mendoza, Ryan Guido, Ruby Ann dela Cruz, Ma. Angela Lequiron, Pauline Pearl Divinagracia, Frank Kelvin Martinez

Monday, February 13, 2012

NAW Schedules

Presidential Proclamation No.130 declares that the 3rd week of February be celebrated as the National Astronomy Week. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a common theme for this national event. Each astronomy related group will be focusing on a different theme.

Here are some of the activities in relation to the NAW:

[Viewing the Sky… Enhancing our Knowledge!]

  • Free Planetarium Show
    • First-come, first serve basis.
  • Stargazing Sessions
    • 7:00PM every night at the PAGASA Astronomical Observatory, UP Compound, Diliman, Quezon City.
  • Star Party contest
    • 24 Feb at 3:00 P.M. until dawn at the PAGASA Astronomical Observatory,

Philippine Astronomical Society
[Building Quality Astronomy Education Through Local and International Collaboration for Filipino Scientific Excellence]
  • Astronomy Competitions
    • 18 Feb, National Museum Planetarium
  •  Public Lectures and Stargazing
    • 20Feb, National Museum Planetarium
  •  Astronomy and Astrophysics Symposium 1
    • 22 Feb, De La Salle University
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics Symposium 2
    • 25 Feb, SDC-MOA

Astronomical League of the Philippines 

[2012 - The Real Deal; NAW-PAC2012]
  • Opening Ceremony
    • Film showing, Planetarium Show, Lectures
    • 19 Feb, National Museum Planetarium
    • Free public viewing, Rajah Solayman Park
  • Free Public Viewing
    • 24 Feb, Astrocamp Observatory, SM-MOA
  • Closing Ceremony
    • Lectures, Free Public Viewing
    • 25 Feb, Rizal Technological University

    Saturday, February 4, 2012


    February is not only a season of hearts but also a season of stars. February also has the National Astronomy Week in it (unfortunately it isn't as national as I hope it could be). There will be different activities by different orgs in the days to come.

    I started this month by waking up early to image Saturn. Unfortunately it was cloudy, but I waited until it cleared up, just a couple of minutes before the Sun interferred. This was my first attempt to image the ringed planet using my 6" newtonian ("alpha") and Nikon DSLR.

    The following day, I tried to use the newtonian for projection of the Sun. I was able to do a sketch of the sunspot group (AR11410 / AR11413). I'll try to add an image of my sketch here later. For now, here is a link of the sunspot image done by James Kevin Ty of the ALP.

    In the evening I imaged the moon and also came across another open cluster in Orion - the NGC 2169/Collinder 38. This is the third collinder object I observed in the Orion constellation. Collinder resembles the number 37, earning the name the '37' cluster. Some observers also see a butterfly in this cluster.