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)


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.