My Astronomy Background…
“Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another. ”
~Plato, The Republic
Staring at the beauty of the night sky is my most engrossing and most cherished hobby I am always proud to say that I consider Astronomy as my lifetime hobby.
Since childhood, I was already fascinated with the wonders of the heavens. I love stargazing, identifying stars and constellations and memorizing the moons of the other planets. I am also fond of reading astronomy books – especially those with lots of photos of galaxies, star clusters and other deep sky objects.
My excitement for astronomy also made me interested in its related fields like cosmology and the study of dark matter, black holes, time and space, as well as in observing atmospheric phenomena like solar halos, lunar coronas, and more.
Reading books and magazines made me extremely curious about the astronomical objects that exist universe. Where did they come from? How did they form? What was their purpose? How large are they? Just there I started to build this huge passion for astronomy.
Well since then, I have come a long way as an amateur astronomer. I have been involved in many astronomical activities and have learned a lot.
I am member since 2006 of the University of the Philippines Astronomical Society (UP AstroSoc), an astronomical organization in the Philippines that aims to promotes astronomy to everyone especially to students by holding public observations, exhibits, lectures, etc. I served as the Executive Secretary of the organization from 2008-2009 and became the editor-in-chief of its official publication, The Sidereal Times.
More recently I have been involved in international collaborations such as the Global Astronomy Month (GAM). Global Astronomy Month, by the way, is an international project of the Astronomers Without Borders that builds on the achievements of The International Year of Astronomy 2009 by combining a wide array of astronomy activities during the month of April. It aim to raise awareness and encourage participation of amateur astronomers in global programs. Being part of the GAM 2011 Working Group – 23 people from 14 countries – organizing and managing all aspects of GAM, my task was to be in charge of the GAM Blog.
One of the best things I enjoy as an amateur astronomer is taking photos of celestial bodies, particularly the Moon, and showing the beauty of the night sky through such images. Astrophotography has found a special place in my heart. There is nothing more rewarding to me than a good observing or astrophotograpy session after a long stressful day. Weather allowing of course.
Some of my best astro photos have been featured on different astronomy-related websites such as AAPOD, EPOD, and Universe Today.
To sit outside beneath a canopy of dark sky and gaze into the depth of infinity, to me, captures the essence of the vastness of our universe. What a glorious feeling it is to know that we are a part of the universe. We are all intertwined, linked from the beginning and on into the future.
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