Wandering through the realms of the cosmos, pondering its huge vastness

Posts tagged “Philippines

The Mind Museum…finally!

Great news to my fellow Filipinos!

After much anticipation, The Mind Museum, the Philippines’ first world-class science museum was finally unveiled via a pre-launch reception this month.

It will be then officially open to the public in March 2012.

According to its curator,  the said 12,500-square-meter facility was fully funded by private donations from corporate sponsors and family and individual donors “who share the passion of making science come alive.”

To those who would like to visit the museum, it is located on the 12,500 sqm prime lot of JY Campos Park on 3rd Ave in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

location

The facility has 250 interactive exhibits and is divided into five main galleries, namely the Atom Gallery, Earth Gallery, Life Gallery, Technology Gallery and Universe Gallery (which of course, is my favorite!).

image courtesy of OurAwesomePlanet.com

The Universe Gallery contains a unique planetarium that simulates stargazing from the point of view of literally lying down on a bed beneath the stars.

The Universe Gallery

Last May 2010, I invited some friends to visit The Roving Space Shell – a travelling inflatable dome – in Market! Market! in Global City, Taguig.

The 8-meter diameter Roving Space Shell is from Cosmodome Australia and is the choice of many universities and research institutions around the world, including NASA. This inflatable planetarium can sit up to 50 people comfortably with a 360- degree view of the shows through a high definition projector.

It has provided the public a sneak preview of what The Mind Museum will be offering to the public when it opens.

The Mind Museum is a P1 billion project conceived in 2006 by Bonifacio Art Foundation, Inc. (BAFI), the group in charge of Bonifacio Global City’s public art program. It is brought to reality by companies, families and individuals who heeded the call to support Science education in the country as a way to help economic growth in the long term. It is envisioned to be the Philippine’s center for the public understanding of Science where facts are presented in clear, exciting, and engaging way.

Learn more about The Mind Museum…

Help Build and be a Donor…

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UP Astronomical Society’s Summer 2011 Application

Click on image to enlarge.

Learn more about astronomy and meet fellow astronomy enthusiasts!

JOIN UP ASTROSOC!

The University of the Philippines Astronomical Society is now open for application this Summer 2011.

Currently enrolled UP Diliman students are invited to join us in our mission to promote astronomy.

For inquiries, please contact Beb at +639277086047 or Andro at +639159739014. You can also email us at upastrosociety@gmail.com

Follow UP AstroSoc on Twitter and/or like UP AstroSoc’s Facebook Fanpage to get updates.

Ad astra per aspera!


The Sky at Night from Bohol, Philippines

As what I have written in a previous post, I love the month of October when it comes to skygazing 😀 It is mainly because during this month, my favorite Orion Constellation family starts become prominent in the evening sky, and the sky is fairly clear. However, several typhoons hit the northern part of the Philippines — where I reside — during last month. It even rained during the peak of the famous Orionid Meteor Shower that most people where not able to observe it. Global Warming and Climate Change might have really changed today’s weather patterns. 😦

Good thing, a friend was able to go to a beautiful island located in the southern part of the country and he shared his experience of seeing the stunning view of the starry sky there.

Bohol is one of the most popular tourist destination in the Philippines with its nice beaches and numerous attractions like The Chocolate Hills, The Philippines Tarsier, a number of very old churches (dating back to the early years of the Spanish colonization), historical monuments, caves, waterfalls, and more. But apart from these, what I personally love most about this place is its nice beautiful night sky (which I have just seen through photographs :P). I would definitely like to visit this place soon.

Panglao Island, where my friend Andre Obidos stayed, is located just southwest of the capital, Tagbilaran City.

 

Andre preparing his camera set up during dusk.*

Unlike in Manila, the sky in Bohol is so much less light polluted and very ideal for skygazing. Moreover, the rain clouds from the typhoon which raged the country for weeks did not reached this part.

Andre took a lot of images of the night sky from there and with his permission, I compiled some of the best shots which were taken during the night of Oct. 20 and 22, 2010 into a slideshow below.

Enjoy! 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Camera used: Canon PowerShot SX20 IS

 

 

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*image courtesy of Rebecca Obidos


My Galileoscope, At Last!

Yey! 😀

After several months of waiting, I finallly got my IYA 2009 Galileoscope which I ordered from the Galileoscope website. I’m soo happy!

The parcel with its contents

There were some shipping problems, and it took longer than expected (they arrived about a month ago but I’ve been too busy to write up this post). Before anything else, I would like to thank the following for their  enormous help.

Mr. Rick Fienberg, Galileoscope team member, for being kind enough to send me regular updates regarding the status of my order;

Ms. Amy Pekar, for taking charge of resending my order 😛 (They had to resend it 3x because the first 2 got lost somewhere and didn’t reach me.)

Nicole Obidos, for driving us to the Marikina Post Office  🙂  *clap clap*

The Marikina Post Office, for giving me 50% discount on the tax i have to pay for the parcel;

and to Andre Obidos, for serving as another recipient and helping me assemble the Galileoscope 🙂

The Galileoscope is a ‘cornerstone project’ of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA). It is a high-quality, inexpensive telescope kit designed by a team of folks who wanted to make the night sky available to as wide an audience as possible, especially young people.

Peeking through a Galileoscope is like seeing the celestial wonders that Galileo first glimpsed 400 years ago, which still delight stargazers today, including lunar mountains and craters, Jupiter’s moons, the phases of Venus, Saturn’s rings and countless stars and deep-sky objects invisible to the naked eye. It incorporates features such as achromatic optics, stray-light rejection and a 1.25-inch focuser normally found only on more expensive telescopes.

It comes packed pretty well, and all the pieces were there. The 50-mm f/10 objective lens is an achromat made from two types of glass, and the 20-mm (25x) eyepiece employs two achromats — a total of four lenses — made from two types of plastic (this four-element configuration is similar to that of the popular Plössl eyepiece, a high-quality design rarely seen on any telescope eyepiece). The plastic in the tube is solid and fits together pretty well. However, I will say that the instructions are not terribly clear; I had to download the additional pictorial instructions from the website in order to better understand the whole assembly procedure.

Assembly took about twenty minutes. When it was done, I mounted it on a sturdy camera tripod that was available then.

Andre tried to focus the Galileoscope on a nearby light post

I first looked on the bright planet Venus which I saw in its crescent phase.

An hour later after sunset, we point it on the waning gibbous moon and then to Jupiter. Through low power the planet is easily resolved as a disk, with its four largest moons. I could even just barely make out two or three of the cloud stripes on Jupiter.

 
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My first lunar image through a Galileoscope! Wish I could learn how to attach a Philips ToUCam to it soon, without buying an expensive camera adapter. 😀 Haha!

(Photo details: Kodak EasyShare C813 6mm focal length F/2.7 lens aperture at ISO 80. Taken using afocal method. Second image was processed in Registax)

The higher-power eyepiece was almost impossible to use, which I actually expected — it’s hard enough in much more expensive telescopes. Higher power means smaller field of view, so finding objects is tough. Focusing is hard as well, since the target is hard to keep centered given that telescope has no adjustment knobs for easier navigation. Perhaps it would be better to find the best focus with both eyepieces and then mark the slider tubes with a white or silver marker that you can be seen in the dark. That way, one can pre-focus.

Another friend pointed the Galileoscope into Jupiter

All in all the Galileoscope is a good piece of equipment. It’s not that hard to assemble, and if you have a tripod and some measure of patience it will allow you view large bright objects. You won’t go galaxy hopping with it, and the inverted view makes bird-spotting hard too. But it serves the purpose it was designed to do: get astronomy in the hands of people everywhere for a very low price. 😀

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View full optical specification here.

Telescope Review

First lunar image through a GalileoscopeKodak EasyShare C813 6mm focal length, F/2.7 lens aperture, ISO 80
Taken using afocal method

Second image was processed in Registax v.5.1


Mind Museum Volunteers needed!

A note reposted from The Mind Museum’s Facebook page 😀

The Mind Museum is currently looking for interested applicants who will serve as Mind Museum Representatives in the following:

1. Roving Space Shell

  • Man the Mind Museum’s Traveling Exhibit entitled “ROVING SPACE SHELL” (an 8-meter inflatable planetarium)
  • this will be toured around schools in the Bicol Region from September 13, 2010 to March 4, 2011 with the following breaks when the planetarium will be brought back to Manila:
    • Oct. 25-Nov. 5 (Sem Break) and
    • Dec. 20 – Jan 7 (Christmas Break)
  • Partners: Pyxis Astronomy Educational Services
  • Areas to visit: Sorsogon Province, Masbate, Tabaco, Legazpi, Ligao, Albay, Catanduanes, Iriga, Naga, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte
  • Responsibilities:
    • Set up the inflatable planetarium in the different schools identified by Dep Ed in the Bicol Region
    • make sure that the planetarium and its paraphernalia are taken care of at all times
    • take turns in operating the planetarium shows
    • assist in controlling the crowd who will watch the planetarium shows
    • submit accomplished reports based on the forms given
    • help promote the Mind Museum in the areas visited by the traveling exhibit
  • Package Inclusion:
    • Free transportation, accommodation and food in all destinations
    • Free Mind Museum polo shirts that will be worn during the operation of the Roving Space Shell
    • P15,000 monthly allowance (net of tax)

2. “The Philippines through National Geographic’s Lenses (1898-1966)” and National Geographic’s interactive “Live Curious Campaign”

  • man the Mind Museum booth during mall hours (10AM to 8PM) for the duration of the exhibit from Oct. 3-24, 2010 at the following malls:
    • Oct. 3-4 – Greenbelt 5
    • Oct. 7-10 – Glorietta 4
    • Oct. 14-17 – Bonifacio High Street
    • Oct. 21-24 – Trinoma
  • request mall goers to sign up in the sign-up sheets provided by The Mind Museum (TMM)
  • submit accomplished daily report forms to TMM
  • Incentives:
    • Free Mind Museum polo shirts that will be worn at all times while manning the Mind Museum booth
    • receive daily allowance of P500 to cover transportation and meals

For those interested, please contact me at 818-3601 loc. 3205 or email me your application letter and resume at kai.pobre@themindmuseum.org.

Thank you.

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The Mind Museum at Taguig is the first-world class science museum in the Philippines that will soon open in 2011.


Public Observations of the Perseids on the 13th

Wondering what to do on this Friday night? Dance with the meteors and the planets. 😀

The University of the Philippines Astronomical Society (UP Astrosoc) invites everyone to its public observation of the spectacular Perseid Meteor Shower and planetary grouping of Mars, Venus, Saturn and Mercury on August 13th (Friday) from 6pm to 6am of the following day at the PAGASA Observatory Sun Deck in the University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman.

Likewise, the UP-Los Banos Astronomical Society (UPLB Astrosoc) will hold an Astronomy Camp entitled “Astra La Vista: The First Encounter” also on the 13th at D.L. Umali Hall in UP Los Banos, Laguna. Aside from observing the Perseids and the planetary grouping, this event will be its launching activity as well.

So don’t forget to mark your calendars on this date, list down your wishes and watch these events from  your local areas.

Let’s pray for clear skies 🙂