This morning, a wonderful view of a golden crescent sun was successfully observed by a lot of skyviewers using appropriate filters for visual observing and photography. The partial solar eclipse began at sunrise at 5:27 am local time and ended at 7:06 am. Fortunately, the weather cooperated this time despite bad weather forecasts and continuous rains during the past few days.
In some places like China, Japan, and United States, the event was seen as an annular eclipse which looked like a fiery ring in the sky.
I observed this event along with an Astrosoc orgmate in their house at Marikina City. Their location is great for observing events which can be viewed along the eastern sky. Moreover, it is also high enough to give a very good vantage point.
Only a few minutes after sunrise, a big yellowish grin in the east just above a layer of clouds greeted us earthlings who patiently waited even without sleep. Yay!
Many Filipinos anticipated the event as solar eclipses are not frequently visible in the Philippines. The last one occurred last January 15, 2010, while the next won’t take place until March 9, 2016.
For avid amateur astronomers like me, this event was extra special as it provides a good opportunity for me to practice solar observation in preparation for the upcoming transit of Venus, a very rare phenomenon that won’t be repeated until 2117. I have never done any solar observation before using my own Galileoscope for fear of getting it damaged (its lens and body tube were both made up of plastic which are not great for viewing the sun using solar projection method). Moreover, the danger of having an eye injury also worried me. Hence, I decided not to pursue solar observation unless I get a decent filter that I could safely attach and use with my equipment — be it a camera or my scope.
Months before this event, I was very anxious that I might not be able to observe it having only a cheap plastic scope and a camera. But I was really determined that I’ve read a lot about solar observing and saved some money for it just in case there’d be a need to buy some materials. When the event came nearer, however, financial constraints became a problem, so I just forego the idea of buying a costly filter and chose to buy a #10 welding glass instead. It might not produce nice images but it’s a good and safe alternative.
Nonetheless, God must have heard my thoughts that he made a miracle. Haha! A few days before the solar eclipse, a nice surprise came in when a generous UP AstroSoc orgmate offered me an extra piece of Baader solar filter — for free! Wee!:)
Below were some of the images I took using a hand-held Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH2 digital camera on a 2-inch refractor (Galileoscope) with a Baader 5.0 ND solar filter.
I will upload the other photos soon, including a complete observation report. For the meantime, I’d better get some sleep first because I still need to attend some other important conventions outside the city. 🙂
To the stars!
I was really happy that once again, one of my images was featured in the Amateur Astronomy Picture of the Day (AAPOD) website last December 9, 2011. It’s an image featuring the planets Venus and Mercury along with the thin Moon during a nice celestial grouping at dusk last October 28.
It also got included in an article posted in EarthSky.org. Deborah Byrd, founder and president of EarthSky sent me message through Facebook to ask permission to repost my image.
Moreover, another surprising news came in as I received a notification that the same image has won, along with another image of mine, in the first round of voting in the 2011 International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) Art Contest. 🙂 Yay!
Here are the links:
- AAPOD: Moon, Venus, and Mercury at Dusk
- EarthSky: Three amazing images of young moon you’ll see tonight
- 2011 InOMN Art Contest
It was really inspiring for an amateur like me who doesn’t even own a decent camera fit for sky photography to have my image featured in such astronomy websites. Thank you, AAPOD, EarthSky and InOMN!
I hope this would encourage more astronomy enthusiasts who are also into sky photography to submit their images and share their interest to many people who might also find a new fondness for the night sky.
Perhaps I should start saving more to have that camera which I’ve been eyeing on for so long. 😉 All things in God’s time.
To the stars!
Didn’t know that one image of mine got featured in Universe Today last October 12. 😀 Click here to view the article.
Thanks, Universe Today!
My image, “Moon-Mars Conjunction Over the Light-Polluted City” was chosen as Amateur Astronomy Picture of the Day (AAPOD) last November 22, 2011. Click on this link to view the image.
An article which I have written, “SHARING THE NIGHT SKY – University of the Philippines AstroSoc Sidewalk Astronomy“, got included in Practical Astronomy Magazine’s July-September 2011 issue.
My image of the Supermoon last March was also in its Readers’ Images and Reports. 🙂
Meanwhile, my first images of the Milky Way Galaxy that I took during the Messier Marathon last Summer was also featured in its latest issue for October-December 2011.
All issues of the Practical Astronomy Magazine can be downloaded for free. Visit its website and check out its Back Issues’ Section. The primary goals of PA is to encourage amateur astronomers worldwide, to share their observations and astronomical experience. So far, contributors from at least ten countries have been published in the magazine.
Everyone can contribute their own images and astronomy-related articles (that are written based on their own experiences) for publication. To do so, just fill up the form from this link and click on the ‘submit button’. You may also send them to Kevin Brown via email: email@example.com
Go on and share your own astro-stories and images. 🙂 It’s a great way of sharing your knowledge, passion and experience to a lot of people in the astronomy community.
My image ‘Eclipsed Moon and Anticrepuscular Rays‘ that I took during the Total Lunar Eclipse last June 2011 got featured in Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD).
EPOD is a service of NASA’s Earth Science Division and the EOS Project Science Office (at Goddard Space Flight Center) and the Universities Space Research Association. It collects and archives photos, imagery, graphics, and artwork with short explanatory captions and links exemplifying features within the Earth system.
My image could also be found in Astronomy.com’s Online Reader Gallery.
Instead of using my pen name, I used my real name with my entry submission 🙂
This contest was held in honor of Global Astronomy Month 2011 last April. Participants used the Observing With NASA portal and MicroObservatoryImage software to create RGB Composite images and Astrocreative images.
MicroObservatory is a network of automated telescopes that anyone can control over the Internet.
The telescopes were developed by scientists and educators at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. They are located and maintained at observatories affiliated with the Center for Astrophysics, including the Harvard College Observatory in Cambridge, MA and the Whipple Observatory in Amado, AZ.
Using many of the same technologies that NASA uses to capture astronomical images by controlling telescopes in space, amateur astronomers world-wide can control a sophisticated ground-based telescope from the convenience of any computer. The MicroObservatory remote observing network is composed of several 3-foot-tall reflecting telescopes, each of which has a 6-inch mirror to capture the light from distant objects in space. Instead of an eyepiece, the MicroObservatory telescopes focus the collected light onto a CCD detector (an electronic chip like that in a digital camera) that records the image as a picture file with 650 x 500 pixels.
With these robotic telescopes, people can take images of the Moon, Sun, nearby planets and some deep-sky objects even without having a telescope! 🙂 Cool, isn’t it?
I’ve been using MicroObservatory for over a year now and I have already taken and processed several images using it. Below are some of them:
Congratulations to all the winners of the contest and thank you, MicroObservatory! 🙂
My image of the Lunar Perigree or ‘Supermoon’ last March 19, 2011 just got featured in Discovery News 2011 Supermoon Readers’ Photographs. Yay! 😀
It’s included in the slideshow found on this link.
Haha, I actually didn’t submitted mine so I wonder how it got there. I just received a pingback from the page to my blog the other day that’s why I learned about it.
The partial lunar eclipse image that I took with two fellow Filipino amateurs was chosen as today’s Amateur Astronomy Picture of the Day (AAPOD)! 😀
You can view the image here.
This is the second time that my astronomy photo got posted in AAPOD. The first one was featured last June 2, 2010 and was entitled, “Venus-Crescent Moon Conjunction“.