Wednesday, February 7, 2018

2018 Philippine Telescope Hour

     The Philippine Telescope Hour is an annual collaborative public engagement program that encourages cooperation and unity. For at least one hour members of the astronomy community are invited to set up their telescopes in their respective locations to give people a chance to appreciate the night sky. The Philippine Telescope Hour is held at the start of the year in promotion of the National Astronomy Week which happens every third week of February. 

     The Judenite's Astronomical Organization (an organization that I founded), together with the Manila Street Astronomers, and the Bedan Society of Young Astronomers celebrated the 2018 Philippine Telescope Hour on February 2, 2018, from 8 pm to 9 pm, in front of Centro Escolar University and San Beda University in Mendiola Street. 

     There were more than 100 participants who attended this event, and they were able to view the moon, the star Sirius, and many other more astronomical objects through a telescope. 

     In line with this, I on behalf of the Judenite's Astronomical Organization would like to express my gratitude to everyone who participated in our event. That night has been a memorable night for me.


My mentor Mr. Norman Marigza teaching me how to use a telescope

Together with my internal vice-president Janina Uygongco and external vice-president Geanine Balolong

Some preparations are done before the event

Participants for our event

Other free telescope viewings for the 2018 Philippine Telescope Hour, hosted by other astronomical organizations here in the Philippines

Certificate of appreciation from the Manila Street Astronomers to the Judenite's Astronomical Organization 

***For my IB CAS requirements:

     As compared to the other astronomy-related activities that I had planned and initiated, I can confidently say that this activity is the least stressful one. Even though this is the least stressful activity that I had organized, I also encountered a lot of problems, most especially the paperwork because our school is demanding for a lot of signatories which I have to accomplish for an event to push through. In addition, waivers have to be distributed to my members because they are all minors. However, despite these challenges, my dedication and hard work allowed me to ignore all of these hardships and push through with this event (LO2, LO3, and LO4).

     I cannot really say that I am good in astronomy because this is subjective. However, I can confidently say that I love astronomy because I just know. However, I know that I am not good with manipulating telescopes. Yes, I know how to assemble basic parts of a telescope, but this doesn't automatically equate that I can just produce stunning images of our universe using a telescope. All of the things that I know are just basic. Because of this, this activity helped me to boost my knowledge in handling a telescope because I served as an usher/Marshall in this event for the telescope (LO1, and knowledgeable). I planned this event together with the Manila Street Astronomers and Bedan Society of Young Astronomers. Even though we all had different identities, but due to our friendships we are always doing collaborations (communicator, and LO5). Even though technically, this is my last CAS project in line, this doesn't mean that I don't have to work on my other things such as EE and IAs. Needless to say, I planned this event while I am under tons of academic pressure (balanced). 

     I am very happy up to this day that I am given this opportunity to organize this event. I wouldn't deny that organizing events can really take up my time for studying but still, it is when I'm organizing these events for the public that I am most alive. 

Lunar Eclipse Viewing at SM North Edsa

     This January 31, 2018, the Philippines witnessed a once in a lifetime opportunity to view a total lunar eclipse. Total lunar eclipse is an astronomical phenomenon that happens when the earth casts its shadow on the surface of the moon when it passes directly between the sun and the moon. The reason why people should really catch this total lunar eclipse is that because this total lunar eclipse is special. The total lunar eclipse visible on January 31, 2018, is a supermoon and at the same time, it is a blue moon. A supermoon is a term used to describe the moon when it appears bigger than the average full moon. A blue moon meanwhile is the term used to describe the second full moon of a calendar month. 

     Even though lunar eclipse happens more often than a solar eclipse, but still, a lunar eclipse doesn't happen frequently. Because of this, the Judenite’s Astronomical Organization (JAO, the organization that I am currently heading)and the Manila Street Astronomers (MSA) seized this opportunity to look at the total lunar eclipse this upcoming January 31 at the Sky Garden located at SM North Edsa. 

     The partial eclipse started as early as 6:50 pm, while the total lunar eclipse started at around 8:51 pm and ended at around 10:07 pm, Philippine Standard Time. The maximum eclipse, which is when the moon appears darkest, happened at around 9:30 pm. The eclipse ended at around 12:08 AM. 

     The MSA and JAO organized a free telescope viewing for the public to look at the moon during the total lunar eclipse. Overall, there were more than 1,000 people present at the event. Aside from a free telescope viewing, bands were present to give entertainment to the people, by singing songs and playing music. 

     Truly, this is one of those nights I, and the Filipino community, will never forget to witness the once in a lifetime opportunity to view a supermoon, and blue and blood moon all at one time.

     On behalf of JAO and MSA, from the bottom of my heart, I want to sincerely express my gratitude to all of the people present at our event. Even though there is limited number of telescopes present, but still, you guys patiently waited for your turn to look at the telescope. With this, I want to say thank you. 


BANNER. The banner used for our project, together with SM and Manila Street Astronomers.

STATE OF THE MOON. Here are some pictures of the moon during the supermoon, blue, and blood moon seen on the eclipse of January 31, 2018. 

STATE OF THE PEOPLE. Here are some photos of the people present at our event. Some members of JAO can also be seen in the photos.

HELLO TO THE 1000+ PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES!!! And how many exactly are the number of participants present at the event? Not much, I mean at around 1000 people!!! 

GROUPIE. Thank you, from the JAO to yours. 

***For my IB CAS Requirements:
     I have to be honest, but conducting a free telescope viewing during the lunar eclipse for my members at JAO is not one of the activities that I have planned for them. After all of the drama that had risen from our stargazing activity, I made a promise to myself that I will never go through all of the hassles just to give my members what they want, to the extent that I am the one who is having a hard time. However, the information that there will be a lunar eclipse at January 31, 2018, has spread too much in the Filipino community that it has been impossible for me to just keep this news from reaching them. Because of this, a lot of my members have been making incessant requests for me to conduct a free telescope viewing for them to view the lunar eclipse. 

     Eventually, I succumbed to their requests because they're my friends, and I can never tolerate my friends. As much as I hate to say this but I really do love all of my friends to the point that I am willing to give them what they want even though I am the one who has to work. At first, I am a bit hesitant to push through with this event with JAO members because of what happened during the stargazing activity. I mean, if I want to view the lunar eclipse, I can just easily view it since I am an MSA member myself. However, my members are not, so I have to create an event for them to let them view the eclipse. However, this time, I learned how to be more careful, and thank God nothing happened anything bad this time. Everything went smoothly according to plan. 

     It's an open secret in the astronomical community that I am most interested learning more about theoretical astronomy than observational astronomy. Because of this, up to this day, I never had the chance and interest on how to properly man a telescope. However, in this CAS project, we have to set up a lot of telescopes for the public's free telescope viewing. Because of this, I have to learn how to use telescopes for me to be with us in the event. I had extensive training with my mentor Norman Marigza in order to ensure that I am knowledgeable already on how to use a telescope and manipulate it. Not only does this ends here, I have to learn how to use the telescope while juggling up my academics from school. This is one the hardships that I was able to encounter with this event. It is the fact that in order to ensure that this event will be successful, I have to learn how to use a telescope from scratch. In order for me to learn how to use a telescope, it is not enough that I am reading telescope manuals because I need to have the actual telescope (LO1, LO2, LO4, and LO5; knowledgeable, balance, and thinker). I organized this event together with the Manila Street Astronomers and SM (LO3, and communicator). This event is celebrated not only all throughout the Philippines, but also in the entire world. By organizing this lunar eclipse viewing event, I was able to show international mindedness by uniting the Philippines to the other activities in other parts of the globe (LO5). I am going to say this, again and again, the night sky doesn't belong to a group of people only, it is for the entire humanity. 

     Overall, even though I had a lot of hardships organizing this event for JAO. I am grateful and happy all throughout that I was able to bring the splendor of the night sky closer to the Filipino community once again.