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 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

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Venus-Jupiter Conjunction (July 1)

Here are my shots of the close planetary pairing of Venus and Jupiter.

 Under-exposed to reveal the crescent Venus and the bands on Jupiter

 Exposed to reveal three of the Galilean moons (Europa hidden in Jupiter's shadow)



My June 30 shots can be seen at the previous post or as featured in AWB.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Venus-Jupiter Conjunction

Tonight will be the closest planetary pairing between Jupiter and Venus (0.3 degrees apart) after a very long period. This conjunction of the two planets is believed as one of the likeliest candidates for the 'Star of Bethlehem'.

A lot of amateur and professional astronomers throughout the world have been observing these two as they get closer and closer each night. I have planned to document their displacement in the night sky however cloudy skies have been dominant as of late.

Here are my images taken as of last night (June 30).




Note:
Unfortunately, my close-up image was plagiarized last night. The copyright was cropped out and the levels edited, but you could still tell it was my image from the distinct features (besides I have the RAW). You may share my images but please retain the image credits and do not claim it as your own.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Save the Night for Sea Turtles

Today (June 16) is World Sea Turtle Day – a day used to honor and highlight the importance of sea turtles. These wonderful creatures are at risk due to various human activity, including the presence of artificial lights.

Now for those in the astronomy scene we value the dark night sky in order for us to appreciate the wonders of the universe. But known to little is the threat of light pollution on these endangered creatures. Female sea turtles look for dark coastal areas to nest their eggs and to keep them protected. The presence of coastal lights prevent them from finding suitable nests for their eggs. Sometimes coastal lighting casts shadows on some areas that to the turtles may seem dark and suitable, but is actually exposed come daylight.

Sea turtle hatchlings also have a natural programming that direct them towards the safety of the sea. For centuries the reflection of the moon and stars on the sea have guided them. With the presence of artificial coastal lighting today, they are disoriented and crawl away from the water and into roads or populated regions where they end up ran over or sold as pets (which is illegal for endangered species). Others who don't find their way become exhausted and dehydrated until they perish.
 
Gamay, a Hawksbill turtle rehabilitated in the Silliman University Marine Lab and released in the Apo Island Marine Sanctuary.
Among the critically endangered sea turtle species are the hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricat) who have been reported to lay eggs in the populated and highly commercialized island of Boracay. We have four other species of sea turtles inhabiting the Philippine waters - Loggerhead (Caretta caretta; endangered), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas; endangered), leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea; critically endangered), and the Olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea; vulnerable).

Sea turtles are only part of a large number of species of animals affected by artificial light at night. So let's help protect these species by avoiding the use of excessive and unshielded lighting. In doing so, you also allow astronomers, stargazers, and astronomy enthusiasts a better view of the sky. All these animals are affected - and you and I are among them.



If you are interested to help monitor the levels of light pollution in the Philippines, you can join us at the Philippine Light Map project.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Philippine Light Map

2015 is the International Year of Light and Light Based Technologies (IYL2015). As participation to the event, a few students and I (from the Guild for Astronomy Innovation and Advancement) started the Philippine Light Map Project. It was a program I initially proposed to RTU last year, but none of the faculty then took it up. It was formally announced to the public during the last monthly meeting of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) with members of the UP-Astrosoc present.

The Philippine Light Map Project is designed to monitor the light pollution levels in the country. It aims to involve members of the astronomical and scientific community, as well as the local community, to provide scientific data by submitting images of the night sky which will then be subjected to photometric analysis. A map of the Philippines will then be generated with indications of light levels over areas that have been able to provide data.


Objectives:

  • To gather collective image data from members of the astronomical community all over the country and create a photometric light map to monitor the status and changes in the levels of light pollution in the Philippines.
  • To determine areas with dark skies for possible observation sites.
  • To determine value of wasted energy resource at night and determine the trend of growing/decreasing energy consumption.
  • To advocate dark-sky preservation and conservation of energy resources.

Various groups in different regions will be asked to be involved so that they may conduct and gather data from their own local regions. The project is designed to run continuously so that the changes may be monitored in the light levels and that the rate of wasted energy may be determined. The data can be presented to local government units (LGUs), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as well as the National Energy Commission (NEC). The data presented can be used to propose lighting ordinances to limit the amount of light pollution. The project can also be coordinated with various international efforts that support the preservation of the night sky such as: the International Conference in Defense of the Quality of Night Sky, International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), International Astronomical Union (IAU), and the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee.

How to get involved?
1. You may submit your images of the night sky for photometric analysis at the facebook group page of the Philippine Light Map. Ideally, a standard star must be included in the image field (please do not over expose the star; you may search the web for a catalog of photometric standard stars). Try your best to achieve a point focus for stars (if you zoom in on an unfocused star it tends to create a donut like shape). Also, ideally we want a narrow field view of view so set your lenses at the highest magnification; or your telescope attachments at prime focus.

Please indicate the date & time, observation site, camera model, lens and telescope used, as well as the location of the field you will submit (perhaps in RA/DEC).

2. If you have no camera you may use the star counting method designed by the International Meteor Organization to give an estimate of the limiting magnitude of your sky.

3. Reach out to your photographer contacts across the country to help get images; or advocate the importance of preserving a dark night sky.





Manila Street Astronomers at Star City

Last weekend, Gary Andreassen invited Christopher Lu and I to join him in Star City for a stargazing event. The amusement park was closed to an exclusive event for the HSBC GSC employees and their families.

Gary and I were first at the scene, and set up close to the roller coaster towards the employee exit. As we were setting up the 8-inch reflector a crowd gathered around us, excited to see what we have to show. Naturally, the amusement park is light polluted so we chose the planet Jupiter as our target.

Star City's PA system also announced our little setup and eventually the line to look at the telescope became as long as the roller coaster line. Christopher Lu eventually arrived and I was able to switch to Saturn which was now high enough to get away from the glare of a light from the ferris wheel side.



Despite the light pollution, we were able to successfully  share the wonders of the universe to people who looked through the telescope (mostly for their first time).

Every once-in-a-while you may catch Gary at SM South Mall, and Christopher at Kalentong setting up their telescopes for a free public viewing.

Solaractivity Picture of the Day (May 20)

My sunspot painting was selected as the Solar Activity Picture of the Day for the 20th of May.


I've been recently cooped up indoors (against my will) while renovations are being done at home. With all the clutter and construction taking place I couldn't manage to drag 'alpha' out for solar imaging/data gathering. So for two afternoons I worked on this painting of a sunspot group.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

SolarActivity Picture of the Day



As I opened my Facebook this morning I was surprised at the first item in my news feed. My eyepiece projection shot for May 5, 2015 was selected as the SOLARACTIVITY PICTURE OF THE DAY. I'm not a pro at astrophotography like most of the members usually featured so I was quite pleased to find my image as the POD.


My photo was taken via an improvised eyepiece projection setup attached to my Sky-Watcher Explorer 150PL on a wooden dobsonian mount (or "alpha" as we call it). The seeing was great that morning so I was able to get good detail. I also recently have been experimenting on a new style of false color processing which gets rid of the burnt out look in the limb. [see original image here]

If you want to check out great solar images (white light, H-alpha, CaK, etc.) from different observers around the world check out the SOLARACTIVITY group.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Nova Sagittarii 2015 No. 2




Scroll over image to see labels. Please give time to load.

Here is an image of the recent nova in Sagittarius. I've been meaning to capture this for some time but never managed to wake up, so I decided to stay up instead. It reached an initial peak of magnitude +4.3 (sometime around March 22). Luckily for me, the nova displayed some erratic variability and has brightened this April 1st to a magnitude +4.8 after declining to around magnitude 6.

Here is the light curve by the AAVSO showing the increase in magnitude of the nova from its original peak. 


The nova was discovered by amateur astronomer John Seach on March 15 in Australia, and was initially labeled PNV J18365700-2855420. It is located at RA=18h 36m 56.8s and DEC=-28deg 55'40". The spectral signature indicates that it is a bright classical nova of the FeII spectral type. It is the brightest nova in Sagittarius since 1898.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Largest Telescopes in the Philippines

Here is another Philippine astronomy demographic regarding the largest telescope in the Philippines. In terms of astronomical optics "bigger is better". When the aperture (diameter of objective lens/mirror) of a telescope is larger it results to higher light gathering power, resolution, and useful magnification.

  • Aperture: 18" (45 cm)
  • Focal:
  • Type: Reflector
  • Status: In use, however mount is misaligned due to sinking ground of the observatory.
  • Location: UP Diliman, Quezon City 
Science Centrum
  • Aperture: 17.5" 
  • Focal: f/4.5
  • Type: Reflector
  • Status: Display
  • Location: Makati

Stardust Observatory
  • Aperture: 16"
  • Focal: f4.5
  • Type: Reflector
  • Status: Maintained
  • Location: South Drive, Baguio City
 also,
  • Celestron, C14
  • Aperture: 14"
  • Focal:
  • Type: Schmidt-Cassegrain
  • Status: Maintained, in storage (for sale)

UP NISMED Observatory
  • Aperture: 16" (40 cm)
  • Focal:
  • Type: Reflector
  • Status: Maintained
also,
  • Aperture: 8"
  • Focal:
  • Type: Refractor (largest refractor)
  • Status: Maintained
Rizal Technological University
  • AstroTech 16
  • Aperture: 16" (40 cm)
  • Focal: --
  • Type: Ritchey-Chretien
  • Mount: Paramount ME
  • Status: New
also,
  • PlaneWave Instruments CDK14
  • Aperture: 14" (35.56 cm)
  • Focal: 2563 mm
  • Type: Corrected Dall-Kirkham Astrograph
  • Mount: Astrophysics GTO 1100
  • Status: New
also,
  • Meade, LX850
  • Aperture: 14" (35.56 cm)
  • Focal: 2845 mm, f/8 [with focal reducer for f/5]
  • Type: Schmidt-Cassegrain
  • Status: In storage (pending observatory completion)

Christopher Go
  • Celestron, C14
  • Aperture: 14"
  • Focal:
  • Type: Schmidt-Cassegrain
  • Status: Maintained

Exploreum
  • Celestron, C14
  • Aperture: 14"
  • Focal:
  • Type: Schmidt-Cassegrain
  • Status: In storage (Used on an event-basis)

Information gathered with assistance from the Philippine Astronomy Forum.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Some Remarkable Filipino Amateur Astronomers

Here is a post in contrast to my previous post on the Directory of Philippine Professional Astronomers. This time I'll be featuring the amateur astronomers.

I often argue that amateur astronomers are not individuals to be taken lightly just because of the word "amateur". They include a wide range of individuals that include beginners and those that also do professional work in astronomy. I myself began as an amateur astronomer. In my undergraduate studies I've managed the use and maintenance of the telescopes of the physics department of Silliman University as an amateur astronomer. I also began astro-blogging as an amateur.

So don't look down on being amateur astronomers. You might just end up like these individuals who have made remarkable contributions in the field of astronomy.

Fr. Victor Badillo SJ Father of Philippine Astronomy
(1949-2014)
  • Jesuit priest with a PhD in Physics.
  • Former director of the Manila Observatory (ADMU) in which he actively conducted solar radio physics
  • Founder of the Philippine Astronomical Society (PAS)
  • Astronomical League of the Philippines' Honorary Director
  • Minor planet 4866 designated as Asteroid Badillo by the IAU in honor of his works
  • Authored several astronomy papers


Edwin Aguirre and Imelda Joson (Edwelda)
  • First Filipinos to have an asteroid designated in their name by the IAU - minor planet 6282 Edwelda, for their contributions in astronomy
  •  Science writers/editors in international astronomical publications, particularly Sky & Telescope magazine
  • Astrophotographers
  • Former officers of the PAS
  • Recipients of the 1986 Padre Faura Astronomy Medal, 2006 Father Victor Badillo Astronomy Service Award, as well as several international commendations
  • Veteran eclipse chasers
  • Proposed and drafted the Executive Proclamation for the National Astronomy Week
  • Members of ALP, PAS, American Astronomical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Research Council of the Philippines



Christopher Go

  • A physics graduate from the University of San Carlos
  • Founding member of the University of San Carlos Astronomical Society
  • One of the country's top astrophotographers
  • Discovered 'Red Spot JR' in 24 February 2006 when Jupiter's white oval BA turned red
  • Worked with the Hubble Team
  • Worked with Celestron
  • Member of ALP and American Astronomical Society
  • Asteroid 2000 EL157 was designated by the IAU as 30100 Christophergo
  • Co-author to several astronomy papers
  • Conducts lecture/seminars all around the world in astroimaging and processing



Dr. Dante Ambrosio Father of Philippine Ethno-astronomy
 (1951-2011)
  • Ph. D. in History
  • Professor of History at the University of the Philippines
  • Pioneered the research on Philippine Ethno-astronomy by documenting local starlore of the Philippines as part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 objectives
  • Research published in his book Balatik: Katutubong Bituin ng mga Pilipino




Directory of Philippine Professional Astronomers

The following is a listing of the professional astronomers in the country (those with formal education in astronomy), as well as a listing of the schools & universities they've attended.
[Information added to the best of my knowledge. For additions, corrections, or omissions please send me a message. Thank you.]

Post-Doc/Doctoral Level
Those who have completed their post-doc or doctoral work in astronomy/astrophysics.

Dr. Reinabelle Reyes, Ph. D.
Post-Doc, Kavli Institute, University of Chicago
Ph. D. in Astrophysics, Princeton University
Diploma in High Energy Physics, Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics
BS Physics, ADMU

Dr. Jelly Grace Nonesa, Ph. D.
Astrophysics, Hiroshima University (2006)
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
MSU-IIT

Dr. Rogel Mari Sese, Ph. D.
Masteral/Graduate Degree Level
Those who have completed masteral or other graduate degrees in astronomy/astrophysics.

Dr. Armando Lee, M.D.
MS Astronomy, Rizal Technological University

Angelito Sing
MS Astronomy, Rizal Technological University

Mark Glen Victorino
MS Astronomy, Rizal Technological University (2015)

Reuel Norman Marigza, Jr.
MS Astronomy (thesis pending), RTU
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU
International School for Young Astronomers, Indonesia
BS Physics with emphasis on computer applications, SU

Vanessa Kate (Ramos) Cristo
MS Astronomy (thesis pending), RTU
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU
BS Physics for teachers, PNU

Lieza Crisostomo
MS Astronomy (thesis pending), RTU
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU
BS Physics for teachers, PNU

Pamela Luz Labios
MS Astronomy (thesis pending), RTU
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU
BS Physics for teachers, PNU

Ruby Dela Cruz
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU
2012 Sokendai Winter School, Japan
International School for Young Astronomers, Indonesia
NARIT-KASI Winter School in Introductory Radio Astronomy, Thailand

Edward Von Delelis
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU

Engr. Joselito Cruz
MS Astronomy (thesis pending), RTU
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU

Peejay Lim
MS Astronomy (thesis pending), RTU
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU

Dhan Deguia
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU

Mary Ruth Velasco
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU

Jimdel Macapagal
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU

Rosalyn Pen
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU

Ol Honrade
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU

Mark Anthony Honrade
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU

Viridiana Paradas
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU

Frederick Gabriana
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU
2012 Sokendai Winter School, Japan

Ryan Manuel Guido
MS Astronomy, RTU
Graduate Diploma in Astronomy, RTU
NARIT-KASI Winter School in Introductory Radio Astronomy, Thailand
Undergraduate Level
Those who have completed undergraduate studies in astronomy/astrophysics.

Frank Kelvin Martinez
MS Astronomy (ongoing)
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2012)

Rhayan Coronel
MS Astronomy (stopped)
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2012)

Lordnico Mendoza
MS Astronomy (stopped)
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2012)

Pauline Pearl Divinagracia
International School for Young Astronomers, Indonesia (2013)
MS Astronomy (ongoing)
NARIT-KASI Winter School in Introductory Radio Astronomy, Thailand
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2013)

Ma. Angela Lourdes Lequiron
MS ,Korean Astronomy Space Science Institute (ongoing)
International School for Young Astronomers, Thailand (2015)
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2013)

Miguel Artificio
MS Astronomy (ongoing)
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2013)

John Christian Lequiron
MS Meteorology, UP (ongoing)
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2014)

Princess Tucio
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2014)

Harry Casimir Merrida
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2014)

Girlie Cortez
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2015)

Joanna Marie Cayas
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2015)

John Ariel Marcelino
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2015)

Frank Fitzgerald Batin
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2015)

Mariel Juanillo
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2015)

Mary Crystalline Araracap
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2015)

Rose Ann Bautista
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2015)

Jerome Felicidario
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2015)

Ehmir Cristobal
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2015)

Jhoana Tabios
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2015)

Jerick Pajanustan
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2015)

Andreia Carillo
BS Astronomy and Astrophysics, Michigan University

Ren Avell Flores
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2016)

Margareth Custodio
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2016)

Aldrin Gabuya
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2016)

Ben Geronimo
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2016)

Jhan Curt Fernandez
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2016)

Macky Villa
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2016)

Jeron Lamatao
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2016)

Reynan Campana
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2016)

Joem Inguito
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2016)

Sharmae Hajar
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2016)
International School for Young Astronomers, Thailand (2015)

Michael Figueroa
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2016)

Mary Grace Arcenal
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2016)

Joshua Guda
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2016)

John Paul Arroyo
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2016)

Paulo de Mesa
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2016)

Julie Anne Delda
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Jhan Jhan Abel
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Xyrene Angeles
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Paul Arce
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Carmela Ariñas
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

John Anthony Castillo
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Ramcis Allen Chan
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Jerald Llante De Leon
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

John Nehemiah Dones
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Bryan Españo
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Val Gerald Garrido
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Jeroh Hiyastro
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Princess Catherine Pornea Ilagan
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Jason Kalaw
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Lanz Anthonee Lagman
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Christine Miranda
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Ma. Christina Nuñez
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Jomar Tutor Razo
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Abigail Tañola
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Pauline Grace Viñas
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2017)

Jericissa Amberrose Acha
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Sarrah Louise Amando
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Jerald Karl Angelo Barranta
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Mary Margareth Bauyon
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Kea Jayne Cabigao
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Julian Carl Maverick Cortes
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Mary Arielle Chenel Dominguez
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Rod Mico Charles Enriquez
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Jianro Fadul
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Erika Laine Garcia
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Jochelle Micaela Heruela
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Joseph Christian Isidro
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Rogie Logronio
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Iela Grace Mojica
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Patrick Christoffer Obsuna
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Phoebe Floralde Pura
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Lex Jeremiah Romero
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Jindra San Diego
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Aureanne Nicola Mae Sayos
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Ralph Christian Tiburdo
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Dhann Collin Vergara
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Shaun Rodney Farro
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Joe Ervin Flores
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

John Robert Quinto
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Marieh Dizon
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Mitchie Anne Richelle Kenept
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Jerico Aquino
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Kevin Caravana
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Kim Jonathan Isidro
BS Astronomy Technology, RTU (2018)

Kyra Rumbaua
BS Astronomy, NEU (2019)

Kurt Reiner Suarez
BS Astronomy, NEU (2019)

Uriel Tumanan
BS Astronomy, NEU (2019)






BS Astronomy Technology, RTU


BS Astronomy Technology, RTU


BS Astronomy Technology, RTU
IAU Individual Members
Philippine Members to the International Astronomical Union

Dr. Jesus Rodrigo Torres, Ph. D.
IAU individual member:
  • Member of Division A Fundamental Astronomy
  • Member of Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage
  • Member of Division C Commission 46 Astronomy Education & Development]

  • Dr. Cynthia Celebre, Ph. D.
    IAU individual member:
  • Member of Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage
  • Member of Division C Commission 46 Astronomy Education & Development]

  • Dr. Jose Perico Esguerra, Ph. D.
    IAU individual member:
  • Member of Division A Fundamental Astronomy
  • Member of Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage
  • Member of Division H Interstellar Matter and Local Universe
  • Member of Division A Commission 7 Celestial Mechanics & Dynamical Astronomy
  • Member of Division H Commission 33 Structure & Dynamics of the Galactic System
  • Member of Division C Commission 46 Astronomy Education & Development
  • Member of Division C Commission 55 Communicating Astronomy with the Public

  • Dr. Bernardo Soriano, Ph. D.
    IAU individual member:
  • Member of Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage
  • Member of Division C Commission 46 Astronomy Education & Development

  • Dr. Rogel Mari Sese, Ph. D.
    IAU individual member:
  • Member of Division A Fundamental Astronomy
  • Member of Division B Facilities, Technologies and Data Science
  • Member of Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage
  • Member of Division F Planetary Systems and Bioastronomy
  • Member of Division G Stars and Stellar Physics
  • Member of Division B Commission 40 Radio Astronomy
  • Member of Division C Commission 46 Astronomy Education & Development
  • Member of Division B Commission 50 Protection of Existing & Potential Observatory Sites
  • Member of Division C Commission 55 Communicating Astronomy with the Public

  • Dr. Renato Vinluan, Ph. D.
    IAU individual member (inactive)
    *Note: local universities abbreviated
    RTU - Rizal Technological University
    ADMU - Ateneo De Manila University
    UP - University of the Philippines
    MSU-IIT - Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology
    PNU - Philippine Normal University
    SU - Silliman University

    Wednesday, March 18, 2015

    Star Trails


    Last night I did my first attempt at making star trails. These is one of the shots that must be tried at least once by anyone doing astrophotography/nightskapes. This shot is made by allowing the rotation of the Earth to cause shifts in the apparent position of the stars (rise -> set).

    I hit a few bumps, but still the end result was satisfying for a first attempt. Limited by my current gear, each of my subs are taken at the standard 30 second exposure time (I have no shutter-release cable or a shutter remote to maximize the bulb setting). My Nikon D3100 also takes an automatic dark frame subtraction after each exposure, so there is a delay in between the exposures (seen as gaps between each light frame). I learned that you can trick the camera to skipping the dark frame subtraction by turning off the DSLR after each exposure. However, my camera has been acting up and I also wanted all unnecessary contact to be avoided with my setup (I accidentally hit my tripod twice, resulting to the two large gaps in every trail).

    The end result makes use of 51 subs totaling to 25.5 mins of exposure. Each of the light frames are manually calibrated in GIMP to produce a clean image. You may use available reduction software from the net to do the calibration for you.

    Sunday, March 1, 2015

    Luna Not So Gray

    We know that through atmospheric lensing the lunar surface changes its hue from the normal gray to anywhere between yellowish to red. But did you know that the Moon isn't actually just gray.


    The Moon contains subtle hints of color that is not normally seen by our eyes. Photographic methods can bring out these subtle variations of color. These various hues are a result of the chemical distribution and abundance in the lunar surface. The mare regions or the 'seas' (the darker areas) have lower capacity to reflect light because of higher ferrous oxide (FeO) content. The bluish hues are a result of the abundance of titanium oxide (TiO2) which further limits the surface reflectivity. TiO2 has a high distribution in Mare Tranquillitatis (Sea of Tranquility); seen in the photo as the blue region. Orange and purplish hues are a result of the lower abundance of TiO2 and FeO. The pinkish hues are from iron-poor, aluminum-rich lunar highlands.

    Here are some other images of the Moon in exaggerated colors to provide contrast from the common Lunar hue:

     



    Here is an image entitled 'The Color of the Moon' from APOD (16 February 2006) by Johannes Schedler (Panther Observatory).














     





    Not only do ground based observers try to see these colors but spacecraft as well. Here is another one by the Galileo spacecraft imaged in 1992.







    - - - April 20, 2019 - - - For those coming to this blog post in relation to the pink Moon - - -

    The Pink Moon is merely a name given by the Native Americans to the Full Moon of April due to it coinciding with the onset of the blooming of the pink phlox (a flower in North America). This name and other Moon names do not apply to the Philippines.

    Here is my original post caption to this link being shared:
    Alright, allow me to weigh on this from an astronomer's perspective.
    Friend's in the local astronomy community have been tackling the pink tinted photos being shared on social media with good reason - they are not real and are reinforcing the wrong notion of people on the 'Pink Moon' (even with all the reference to the Pink Phlox in the Native American Moon names).

    The Moon actually has pink hues resulting from iron-poor, aluminum rich lunar highlands (and these ARE NOT visually distinguishable). Highlands are the brighter older areas, while the lowlands are the darker spots on the lunar surface.

    In this blog post I made in 2015 you can see the distribution of the pink hues on the lunar surface. Now from these you can tell the difference from all these recent pink-hued Moon pics as they are mostly all pink as a result of camera optics and not of the actual color of the Moon. The lack of other hues from chemical distribution in the lunar surface shows that these photos are not representative of the actual Moon.
    I've been imaging the Moon since I was in college until I was teaching astronomy in college and have encountered this pink hued Moon images from certain camera models (depending on the setting). Please do not confuse the image color with the actual color of the Moon.

    - - - - - - -

     The image set seen here were taken on May 2010 just minutes from each other with a Canon PowerShot S3IS. Slight changes to the camera produced a pink tint in the image color without any post-processing. Although some images appeared pink they do not signify that the Moon itself appeared pink.

    Notice how the low-lands are also pinkish in hue when they shouldn't be.

    Friday, February 27, 2015

    Solar Image: 28 January 2015


    Solar image for January 28. Still low sunspot activity in the Sun. AR 2290 is now receding from the Earth facing side.  The previous grouping with no NOAA designation is now labeled as active region (1)2294.

    Below are the 3D rendering of AR 2294 from yesterday and today. There is a huge difference in the structure of the sunspot group.



    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    Solar and Lunar Image

    Here is the solar image from today, and the lunar image from last night.

    The Sun currently has a low sunspot activity, so observations would be ideal in other wavelengths at the moment rather than in white light. There is a grouping at the center (below solar equator) that currently has no NOAA designation.



    Thursday, February 19, 2015

    The Besao Stone Clock Formation

    During the National Astronomy Week (NAW), the Andromeda Mobile Planetarium team decided to conduct archaeoastronomy. Archaeoastronomy (also spelled as archeoastronomy) deals with astronomical practices, socio-cultural interpretations and applications of ancient cultures. During our events in Tadian Mountain province we heard of a rock formation used by farmers with the Sun.

    The rock formation known as the Besao Sunset comes as one of the tourist destinations listed in the Cordilleras. However, very limited information about it can be found online. In fact, all the sites I have encountered uses the same line:

    "Besao Sunset (Besao) - a primitive formation of two rocks where farmers can determine seasons by how the sun's rays fit into the crevices in the rock formation."

    Due to the lack of information, the Andromeda Mobile Planetarium team decided to document this structure. We informed miss Bel Pabunan, curator of the National Museum Planetarium, of what we intended to do. Our write up will be forwarded to her. As we set out for our event in Agawa Elementary School in Besao, we started asking the locals about information regarding the stone structure. A teacher from Gueday Elementary School, one of the participant schools, pointed out that the rock structure was next to their school in the Besao Rice Terraces. After our event, we set out for the Besao Rice Terraces.



    The teachers from Gueday Elementary School offered us some snacks as we arrived, and we discussed the nature of their place. The area is quite remote and they rarely get visitors (despite websites having them as a tourist site). We then headed to the first part of the stone structures which aligned with the view of the Sun. The upper part of the main stone pillar that contained etches was taken away in 1986 - some say by the National museum, other locals suspect tourists. The locals mentioned that it was visited by an archaeologist in the past. Our research show that the late William Henry Scott indicated that the etches were said to resemble ancient writings from the Shang Dynasty in China (16 BC).


    The etches indicated cultural practices in which a boar was sacrificed in the center of the dap-ay. The size of the boar depended on the planting period.

     

    The other part is the head-like rock structure that contains crevices which is said to align with the Sun to tell the seasons. The Sun is said to align with the stone during the autumnal equinox on September.


    The head-like rock formation that aligns with the Sun.

    The North-South directed crevice below the stone head.


    Monday, January 12, 2015

    Solar Image: 12 January 2014


    Here is today's whole disk image and 3D isophote rendering of the sunspot groups. This will be my last post for now before traveling back to the Andromeda Mobile Planetarium for work. I might get to image again on Saturday or Sunday when I get back to my equipment.

    The receding sunspot groups AR 2257 and 2255 have developed gamma-delta magnetic fields putting the risk for M-class flares at 40%, and X-class flares at 10%. As of yesterday only eight C-class flares were released by active regions 2255, 2257, 2260 and 2262; five of which were by AR 2257.

    I was hoping I can document the growth and development of AR 2259 [McIntosh: Eko] but it looks like I'll only get to catch up on that via the internet.
    AR 2259

    Well that's it for the mean time. Catch you guys next time! :)
    Clear skies!

    Sunday, January 11, 2015

    Solar Image: 11 January 2015


    Here is the solar image for 11 January 2014 along with their 3D rendering of the transiting sunspot groups. I've been able to follow AR 2257 since January 7 and here is a little animated GIF showing the development of AR 2257.

    AR 2257 currently has a McIntosh class of Dki and NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of flares. As of this post it released 3 C-class flares today.

    Friday, January 9, 2015

    Solar Image: 10 January 2015


    Today is a bright & sunny Saturday morning. There are several sunspot groups in the Sun today. I've been receiving good feedback for my 3D rendering of transit ARs from the solar imaging community that I've decided to add them to my usual whole disk white-light images (which are now posted at the sidebar of this blog). The 3D render brings out much detail in the umbral and penumbral structure of the sunspot groups.

    AR 2257 is growing in size and may pose a threat for M-class flares. It currently has a McIntosh class Dki and released 3 C-class flares yesterday (C 9.6, C 1.8, C 1.9).

    Another sunspot group that seems to be growing in size is AR 2259 [Eko] with two C-class flares yesterday.

    You can check out my paper on Sunspot data extraction through 3D rendering at:
    You can also choose to join our solar community on Facebook at Solar Activity.

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

    Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

    I've only gotten back in Manila from the holidays and decided to take a shot at comet Lovejoy. I wasn't able to do it earlier since I left my usual gear (camera and travelscope) while away since we didn't have much space in the car. Comet C/2014 Q2 was first spotted by Terry Lovejoy last August.

    Anyways, I decided to take out my dobsonian and scanned for the comet which is now in Eridanus. The moon and Manila's light and air pollution made it a bit challenging to observe the stars of Eridanus.

    I was able to spot the comet by using omicron eridani (Keid & Beid) as my reference point. These stars were relatively bright and close enough to the comet's current position. I took multiple frames of the comet each at 1.3 seconds only given that my setup had no tracking capacity. Unfortunately I couldn't stack them together either since my laptop had limited memory to run conventional stacking softwares.



    I ended up my night by taking a shot at Jupiter and the moon.




    To aid you in searching for Comet Lovejoy, you can check out it's current position at TheSkyLive. Happy hunting! :)