FEATURE IMAGE THIS ISSUE alpha Astronomical League of the Philippines’ HerAld Vol. 12, Issue No. 2 February 2014 © 2014, Astronomical League of the Philippines Visit our website at www.astroleaguephils.org Francisco Lao, Jr. Editor-in-Chief January’s been a busy month, astronomy-wise, from a huge sunspot group and fireworks on the Sun out to fireworks in a neighboring galaxy. While the Sun started the year off with a huge prominence and one of the largest sunspot groups in years, the latter half of January had another explosion – this time a supernova – in the nearby Cigar Galaxy, M82. Above is an image taken of the M81/M82 galaxy pair, and arrowed is the supernova in M82. More info on page 38. © Dr. Jett Aguilar < [email protected] > CLUB NEWS January Meeting Last January 5, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) held their monthly meeting at the Manila Planetarium. Members who attended were ALP President James Kevin Ty; VP Jett Aguilar; Secretary Christopher Louie Lu, wife Karren and daughter Frances; Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan; directors Mike Enage & Rich Pijuan; Justine Garcia; Edge Lat; Jason Comia; Peachy Sarmiento; Norman Marigza; Bel Pabunan; Liza Quitlong; and, guest German amateur astronomer Andre Afterwards, ALP Secretary Christopher Louie Hartmann. Lu (above) continued his presentation on some good astro apps available to Android users. The meeting started at around 3:30 p.m. with Andre (above) giving a lecture on his astro journey experience in Namibia, Africa. Comet Monitor is a software program for the purpose of following current positions of comets. It is composed of two databases, a star chart, a data screen, a Sky View screen, and an ephemerides table. Comet Monitor comes with two databases, "Selected JPL", which is a selection of popular imaged comets using the elements from JPL, and "Observable MPC", which is the database of observable comets by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) without image icons. The development of this software has been inspired by the approach of comet ISON, which was supposed to become the celestial spectacle that was estimated to be as bright as the Moon, but unfortunately fizzled out after its close encounter with the Sun. He discussed his 2 months’ stay there to do astro-imaging under their legendary dark skies. He showed his large haul of deep sky images taken from there. He also discussed how much he spent on logistics, which was Exoplanet Guide is probably the most worth every penny. complete exoplanet data reference for Android phone users. It is based on the database published by the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at University of Puerto Rico - Arecibo. One of the key features is the graphical representation of the habitable zone of a parent star. Exoplanet Guide comes with a fully-featured star chart, plotting stars down to magnitude 6.4, plus all Messier objects. Lastly, NAW 2014 Chairman Andrew Ian Chan discussed ALP's preparations and plans for National Astronomy Week on Feb. 16-22. The meeting ended at around 5:30 p.m. Afterwards, some ALPers proceeded to SMMall of Asia (SM-MOA) to have dinner, as well as hold the 1st ALP AstroKapihan for the year 2014 at Starbucks at SM-MOA. - James Kevin Ty & Christopher Louie Lu Page 18 Astro Kapihan Jan. 17. Held at the Starbucks IMAX Mall Of Asia, the main discussion was the finalization of National Astronomy Week (NAW) 2014 activities, which will be posted by NAW Chairman Andrew Ian Chan. It was also time for members to discuss anything from Astronomy to UFOs. It was another fun night of healthy astro discussions. Join us on our next AstroKapihan ALPers! - James Kevin Ty New ALP Membership Guidelines As per approval of the majority of the board of directors during their recent board meeting, the below is officially in effect this January 1, 2014. ALP will be implementing a new membership fee of P1000 per year or P1800 for 2 years. This will be for all members residing in the NCR region. Non-NCR members will have a new yearly membership rate of P600 or P 100 for 2 years. In light of this, we will be giving our NCR members a special membership discount rate of P600 per year if he or she will meet the minimum “10-points” ALP membership attendance point system, which can be achieved as follows: • Monthly meeting attendance – 1 pt • NAW attendance – 2 pts • September Anniversary Meeting attendance – 2 pts • Meeting or NAW lecture speaker – 2 pts • Caliraya or ALP-sponsored out of town stargazing attendance – 2 pts • Public viewing attendance – 2 pts • Membership recruitment – 2 pts • Yearbook or other ALP-sponsored fundraising activities – 2 pts • Messier marathon or similar observing activities participation - 2 pts • Phil Journal of Astronomy published articles - 1 pt • ALPha newsletter observation or imaging session report submission (minimum of 5 submission or more per month) - 1 pt • [Board Meeting attendance – 2 pts] alpha February 2014 Board of Directors Requirements: In order for the organization to function effectively, ALP directors are required to meet the above 10-point attendance guidelines. Failure to attain minimum 10 pts will automatically open up the said director's seat(s) for re-election. The said director will still be qualified to seek reelection from this scheme. 1) If he/she wins a slot from the election, he will retain his/her directorial position to continue his or her tenure. 2) If he/she lost the election, the new director will fill up his/her remaining tenure. 3) The losing director, since not being able to get the minimum 10 pts requirement, will revert back to be a regular member and will be required to renew his/her membership at the regular one (1) year membership renewal rate of one thousand pesos (P 1000). We hope that by implementing this 10-point scoring system for ALP members and directors, members and directors will be encouraged to actively participate and thus help our organization in attaining its goals and reaching greater heights. Special thanks to SM South Mall marketing manager Eva for letting the ALP share the beauty of the universe with the crowd. January 11 in South Mall. For the second Saturday, ALP PRO Gary Andreassen & director Arnel Campos brought their telescopes to the SM South Mall parking area to share the beauty of planet Jupiter and the Moon. They held the event from 7 – 10 p.m. with more than 500+ people getting a chance to peer through their telescopes at the two objects. PRO Gary Andreassen points a green laser at Jupiter to show its location in the sky. Signed in the presence of ALP Board of Directors for full implementation of the above guidelines this January 1, 2014. – James Kevin Ty Public Viewing Sessions Last January 4 and 11, the ALP staged 2 free public viewing sessions simultaneously at SM South Mall and Caltex Kalentong Station for the public to get a view of Jupiter and the Moon. Another happy 500+ people got to view both Jupiter and the Moon that evening. January 4 in South Mall. ALP PRO Gary Andreassen and Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan brought their telescopes to the SM South Mall parking area to share the beauty of planet Jupiter at opposition and the Moon. Arnel set up beside the SM South Mall ad promoting the event. ALPers posed with SM South Mall Marketing Manager Eva and staff after a successful Jupiter Opposition Watch. They held the event from 7:30-10 p.m. with more than 500+ people getting a chance to peer through their telescopes at the 2 objects. January 4 - Caltex Kalentong. Answering the call of fellow ALP Director Gary Andreassen along with Andrew Ian Chan, who gave a free public viewing at SM South Mall, ALP Secretary Christopher Louie Lu simultaneously set up his telescope at Caltex Gas Station along Gen. Kalentong street to give a free public viewing of the planet Jupiter. He started the public viewing at 8 pm where people came in trickles of 2's and 3's at first, then before he realized it, there was a long line of curious people waiting for their chance to see the largest planet in our Solar System ( p. 19). Page 19 alpha February 2014 Despite the strong wind, James was still able to image NGC2244, the Rosette Nebula; Mike imaged IC2118, the Witchhead Nebula (featured in last month’s ALPha), and Andrew captured M31 - the Andromeda Galaxy, M42 - the Orion Nebula, M45 - the Pleiades star cluster and NGC2024 - the Horsehead Nebula. Dr. Armando Lee imaged wide angle constellation shots in the Puppis region as well as Orion setting in the west. James also got to image the crescent Moon with Earthshine before calling it a night. By 10:50 p.m., the crowd started to thin out and he finally packed up his scope at around They estimated about 150 - 180 people 11:15 p.m. An estimated crowd of about 80 - stopped by and took a few moments of their time to look through their scope and 100 people had a chance to see Jupiter. cameras. They officially ended the session at 11:00 p.m. All in all, it was once again an awesome experience to share the universe with their neighbors. - James Kevin Ty & Christopher Louie Lu, images by Gary Andreassen & Christopher Louie Lu Caliraya Stargazing Session Last December 28, 2013, some members of the ALP proceeded to Caliraya, Laguna to start off their 2-night stargazing session. M35 open star cluster in Gemini by Mike Members who were present were ALP Enage President James Kevin Ty and son Kendrick Cole (KC); Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan; and directors Mike Enage and Armando Lee, with wife Mia and son Jason. January 11 - Caltex Kalentong. In its second week for this month, the ALP once again hosted a simultaneous Free Public Viewing of Jupiter and the Moon. ALP Secretary Christopher Louie Lu set up his telescope at Caltex Kalentong station again. NGC2024 Flame Nebula and Horsehead Nebula in Orion by Andrew Ian Chan Winter Milky Way by James Kevin Ty Viewing started at 8:00 p.m. with Jupiter as their first target. At the time, Jupiter was only showing 3 Galilean moons - Io, Europa and Callisto. Ganymede at the time was in transit over the Jovian face with its shadow projected on its surface. At around 9:00 p.m. Ganymede emerged from Jupiter's southwestern limb. He then swung the telescope and gave the public a view of the Moon at around 9:30 p.m. Assisting him that evening was his elder brother Anthony Watson T. Lu, using his Canon SX-50 digital SLR that had a 1200mm lens on a sturdy tripod, to give the public a view of the Moon. As they arrived at the site, the sky was clear but wind on the first night was surprisingly strong. James brought along his Canon 500D DSLR and ATIK 16HR CCD camera with Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens & TV-101 refractor mounted on Vixen GP-DX mount; Mike Enage his Nikon D7100 DSLR on TMB 92 refractor on Vixen GP-DX mount ; Andrew Ian Chan his Canon EOS 500D DSLR on Skywatcher 80ED refractor on Vixen GP mount; and, Armando Lee his Canon EOS 1100D DSLR with William Optics Zenithstar 80ED refractor on EQ-1 mount. Great Orion nebula and Running Man nebula by Andrew Ian Chan In the morning, they used that opportunity to get some needed rest for day 2, as well as recharged their laptops and batteries through Mike's generator. Armand, on the other hand, brought the 2 kids to go fishing. At around lunchtime, Armand and family, as well as Andrew, concluded their Caliraya session as they had other plans for the day. That left James, Kendrick and Mike to do the 2nd night ( p. 20). Page 20 The second night was a bit better as the wind slowed down considerably but the early evening till around 10:30 p.m. had fast moving clouds and some light drizzle. After 10:30 p.m., the sky improved and James used this opportunity to start off imaging with his wide angle lenses mounted on the portable Vixen Polarie mount to image the Winter Milky Way and Ursa Major and Polaris region. He then proceeded to image IC2118, the Witchhead Nebula, through the ATIK 16HR CCD camera on Canon EF100-400mm IS L lens. Mike, on the other hand, imaged the Rosette Nebula as well as the M35 galactic star cluster. alpha February 2014 Opportunity has made its share of big discoveries, some of them coming quite recently. Recently, mission scientists announced that the rover had found evidence of a potentially life-supporting environment in four-billion-year-old rocks on the rim of Endeavour Crater, which Opportunity has been exploring since August 2011. Spirit and Opportunity's finds helped pave the way for NASA's 1-ton Curiosity rover, which landed inside Mars' huge Gale Crater in August 2012 to determine if the Red Planet could ever have supported microbial life. Curiosity found a potentially habitable lake system that dates from around 3.7 billion years ago, so it's possible that microbial life could have survived on the surface of ancient Mars for hundreds of millions of years, though perhaps not continuously in time and space during that stretch. For example, the rovers' handlers did not expect Martian breezes to blow dust off the robots' solar panels on a somewhat regular basis, which has happened throughout the pair's time on the Red Planet. "This has been a tremendous benefit, this periodic cleaning," Spirit and Opportunity project manager John Callas, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., told reporters Thursday. "We can't predict it — it seems to have some seasonal relationship — but it certainly has enabled the rovers to continue to generate power." While Opportunity is showing some signs of its advanced age, such as an arthritic robotic arm, the rover remains in good health. The six-wheeled robot continues to study Martian rocks, with its current focus on a strange stone that suddenly appeared in Opportunity's line of sight recently. Mission scientists think Opportunity likely knocked this rock, which looks like a jelly donut, free of the substrate while turning around. The rock appears to have landed upside-down, affording a rare chance to examine material that has not been exposed to the Martian air for a long time — perhaps billions of years. This sort of serendipity and opportunism is a hallmark of the discovery-driven mission, team members say. NASA's baseline mission requirements called for the solar-powered Spirit and Opportunity to drive about 1 kilometer. Both rovers shattered that ceiling, just as they made a mockery of the 90-day lifespan. Spirit logged 7.7 km during its operational life, while It was a success and they were eager to do Opportunity's odometer reads 38.73 km and another imaging session in January to image counting. more deep sky wonders. - James Kevin Ty; Images by James Kevin Ty, Mike Enage, Spirit and Opportunity are leaving an Armando Lee & Andrew Ian Chan impressive legacy of science and exploration, helping researchers flesh out their understanding of the Red Planet and paving the way for ambitious future missions. The Opportunity – 10 Years twin rovers have also contributed in other, NASA's Opportunity rover marked 10 years of less tangible ways that touch all of humanity, Mars exploration last Jan. 24, an Callas said. extraordinary milestone that added to the robot's growing legend. The golf-cart-size "Over the past decade, through these rovers, Opportunity rover landed on the night of Jan. our species has gone to work on Mars," he 24, 2004, three weeks after its twin, Spirit. said. "In addition to being earthlings, Though both robots were originally tasked This shows the 10-year path of NASA's Mars because of these rovers, we have become with 90-day missions, Spirit explored the Red rover Opportunity from its landing in Eagle Martians, too — dual citizens, if you will. We Planet until 2010 and Opportunity keeps Crater on Jan. 24, 2004 to its 10th now live in a larger world, a world that rolling along to this day, gathering more and anniversary in January 2014. The rover has extends beyond our own home planet. These more clues about Mars' warmer and wetter driven 38.73 km. Credit: NASA/JPL- rovers have made Mars our neighborhood past. and our backyard, and this is something truly Caltech/MSSS/NMMNHS remarkable." – Mike Wall, Space.com Opportunity's continued productivity at such In fact, Opportunity holds the American an advanced age has surprised the mission distance record for off-planet driving and is Ceres Has Water team. NASA dispatched Spirit and creeping up on the overall champ, the Soviet Ever since the Dawn spacecraft departed Opportunity to search for signs of past water Union's remote-controlled Lunokhod 2 rover, asteroid 4 Vesta in July 2012, mission activity on Mars, whose surface is very cold which racked up 42 km on the moon in scientists have been planning what they'll and dry today. Both rovers found plenty of 1973. study once the robotic craft reaches its next such evidence at their disparate landing destination, even bigger 1 Ceres. sites. In 2007, for example, Spirit unearthed So how have Spirit and Opportunity managed deposits of pure silica when its crippled right to keep performing so long after their Their "to do" list has just gotten a little front wheel dug a furrow in the red dirt. Since warranties expired? While the high-quality longer, because new observations show that silica forms when hot water reacts with design and construction is a major factor, as Ceres gives off puffs of water vapor every rocks, the area likely once had two key is the skill of the rover team, good fortune now and then. Enough of it lingers to give this ingredients necessary for life as we know it — has also played a role, mission officials said. body the barest whiff of an atmosphere ( p. liquid water and an energy source. 21). Breaking News Page 21 alpha February 2014 The discovery wasn't totally unexpected. Planetary scientists have long suspected that there's water on or inside Ceres. Back in 1978, observer Larry Lebofsky (then at the Jet Propulsion laboratory) detected a near-infrared absorption at 3 microns, which he suspected was due to hydrated minerals on its surface. With a diameter of 975 km, Ceres is large enough to be classified by the IAU as a "dwarf planet." The overall shape is so startlingly round that the globe must have softened and separated into layers eons ago. Given Ceres's bulk density of only 2.1 g/cm3, the outermost layer almost has to be water ice. Yet confirmation of this icy exterior proved difficult, because water ice doesn't have strong spectral features. So, instead, observers used European Space Agency's Herschel observatory to scrutinize the big ball in 2011, 2012, and 2013, keying on an absorption due to water vapor at the far-infrared wavelength of 0.54 mm. Ceres' shape is almost round like Earth's, suggesting that the asteroid may have a "differentiated interior," with a rocky inner core, a thick water-ice mantle, and a thin, dusty outer crust. © NASA / ESA / A. Feild (STScI) These would likely be warmer than their surroundings. Calculations suggest that the gas might be escaping from areas about 60 km across. One way to distinguish between these two scenarios is to determine whether the water vapor escapes even when Ceres is farthest from the Sun (its orbit is modestly eccentric), which would imply that the water is coming from deep within. Even better, Dawn will have two instruments, a near-infrared spectrometer and a detector for gamma rays and neutrons, that its scientists can use to figure out where the water is coming from. – Kelly Beatty, SkyandTelescope.com Supernova in M82 One of the closest star explosions in nearly 27 years was discovered this week by students and staff at the University College London, and the supernova can be easily seen by stargazers equipped with a moderately large telescope. Since sky conditions were rapidly deteriorating, the group took a rapid series of 1-minute and 2-minute exposures through different colored filters so that they could measure its brightness and color. In addition, to ensure the object was not an instrumental defect, a second telescope was aimed toward Messier 82 to confirm that the new star was real. And it was! One of Fossey's students, Tom Wright, later commented that, "One minute we're eating pizza, then five minutes later we've helped to discover a supernova. I couldn't believe it. It reminds me why I got interested in astronomy in the first place." – Joe Rao, Space.com Observing Reports Zodiacal Light Early on the evening of Jan. 21, a team of students — Ben Cooke, Tom Wright, Matthew Wilde and Guy Pollack — assisted by astronomer Steve Fossey, spotted the new supernova in nearby galaxy Messier 82 (M82), popularly known as the "Cigar Galaxy." The new supernova's discovery was actually an astronomical fluke. During the Jan. 21 observing session at the University College London's teaching observatory, Fossey noticed that clouds were rapidly increasing, so instead of giving his scheduled lecture on practical astronomy, he decided to give his students a quick demonstration on how to use the CCD camera on one of the observatory's automated telescopes. A team led by Michael Küppers (ESA) found convincing evidence for water vapor — but it's there only some of the time. When Ceres did "exhale," it gave off only about 6 kg of water per second. That's a tiny amount, equivalent to what would escape from a patch of surface ice no bigger than an Olympic-size swimming pool. The team suspects that one of two mechanisms is the cause. The interior of Ceres could still be warm enough to drive a little bit of water outward through deep fractures. Or maybe the surface occasionally warms enough for a little ice to sublimate and escape, carrying away loose dust and exposing fresh material. These before and after shots of the Cigar Galaxy (M82) by amateur astronomer Fred Hermann illustrate the dramatic emergence of a new supernova. The image at left was captured on Nov. 28, 2013. The image at right was snapped on Jan. 22, 2014. Although the Herschel observations are too crude to identify actual sources, the watervapor detections occurred when one of two known dark regions on Ceres was facing the Sun. Messier 82 was chosen as a target and it was while adjusting the telescope that Fossey noticed a star that appeared overlaid on the galaxy — a star which he did not recognize from previous observations. Taken on January 5, 2014 at Mt. Cabuyao, Tuba, Benguet. – Oliver Abrigo de Guzman Iridium Flares Jan. 1. After all the fireworks, which were beautiful to watch, seeing the ISS flyby on the first twilight of the year was just as equally cool for me. It rose out of the northwest horizon, passing through the constellations of Cygnus, Pegasus, Phoenix & Eridanus along the way. It finally set over the southwest horizon ( p. 22). Page 22 alpha February 2014 Single 127-second exposure at ISO 1600, unprocessed, taken with a Pentax K-x and a 18-55 mm lens set at 18 mm f/5, mounted on a Vixen Polarie. Taken on January 5, 2014 at Mt. Cabuyao, Tuba, Benguet Jan. 2. Just after the shop closed, I once again made a mad rush to my rooftop to catch Iridium 63’s flare. What I first saw when I got there was the beautiful conjunction between our Moon and Venus. I just couldn't let this moment pass, so I tried to catch this lovely sight even by just holding my camera as steady as I could with my bare hands. I then waited for the Iridium 63 to pass overhead, and seeing it pass by very familiar constellations and star clusters was just a great bonus. Jan. 5. Ever since I took my first image of the Milky Way galaxy back in 2011, I've been wanting to go to Mt. Sto. Tomas / Mt. Cabuyao for astroimaging. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to do so, hence I went forth. Going to the peaks at this month and doing so at night proved to be quite a challenge, since it's usually in January that the highlands experience the coldest temperature, hence it's best to wear thick clothing and additional protection from the cold like bonnets/caps/scarfs/gloves. At bottom is the Winter Milky Way Galaxy, showing the Eta Carinae nebula and the Southern Cross. This is a 30-second single exposure at ISO 800, processed, taken with a Pentax K-x and with a 50 mm f/2 lens set at f/5, mounted on a Vixen Polarie I arrived at the place just a few hours before daybreak. The sky was indeed dark, especially at some parts of the road that didn't have streetlights. In my opinion, the dark sky in Mt. Cabuyao/Mt. Sto. Tomas matches, if not exceeds, the dark sky in Caliraya, Laguna. The Milky Way and the Eta Carina Nebula were easily visible to the unaided eye. - Christopher Louie Lu Constellations Orion. Here's a image of Orion that I took during my trip to Mt. Cabuyao. This will give everyone an idea on how dark it was on the road that connects Mt. Sto. Tomas and Mt. Cabuyao. At top is the southern horizon view on Mt. Cabuyao (bright blue star is Sirius). 408second single exposure at ISO 800, taken with a Pentax K-x and an 18-55 mm lens at 18 mm f/5, mounted on a Vixen Polarie. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get 3-minute exposures for the northern and eastern horizons due to lack of imaging time. I was only able to get a 408-second exposure at ( p. 23). Page 23 alpha February 2014 ISO 800 for the southern horizon and a 127second exposure at ISO 1600 for the western part of the sky. After taking the exposures and moving on to a more secure spot, I then focused on imaging the Eta Carinae nebula. I was only able to get several (half) decent 1minute subexposures instead of 5-minute subexposures since I couldn't get my Polarie properly aligned to celestial north. That being said, the overall result was still satisfying, considering that it was my first time to image on Mt. Cabuyao. Moon Halo Jan. 13. I took this when I was in Nasugbu. Eta Carinae Nebula. Single 67-second exposure at ISO 1600, taken with a Pentax Kx and a 200mm f/4 lens mounted on a Vixen Polarie. After the imaging session, I joined a group of photographers and participated in a sunrise/landscape shoot. - Arnel Campos - Jan Karlo Hernandez The Belt of Venus is the faint pinkish glow just above the dark bluish layer in the horizon (which is actually the Earth's shadow). It is usually visible before sunrise and after sunset. Luckily for me, I was able to snap this image minutes before the sun rose up from the eastern horizon. Jan. 23. Winter Milky Way (above right) Single 12-minute exposure at ISO 800, taken January 23 with a Pentax K-x DSLR and a 1855mm lens set to 18mm f/5 mounted on a Vixen Polarie star tracker. - Oliver Abrigo de Guzman Taken 1/13/2014 at around 22:20 p.m. – Dan Sha The sky this evening was clear and I got to see a large Moon halo almost overhead. I quickly grabbed my Canon EOS 500D DSLR on Canon EFS 10-22mm f/3.5-5.6 ultra wide lens set at 10 mm f/5.6 to capture it in its - Alexander Loinaz entirety, together with the beautiful Winter Hexagonal Asterism and Jupiter. I also used Above right is an image of the Moon Halo as this opportunity to image the Waxing seen from Trece Martires City on Jan. 13, Gibbous Moon using a Canon EOS 500D 2014, at 10:30 p.m. DSLR with Canon EF100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set at 400 mm f/11 ( p. 24). Page 24 alpha February 2014 Jan. 7. Waxing crescent. And an 8 mm lens. - Raymund Sarmiento Moon Jan. 3. Tonight’s crescent Moon Jan. 10. - Raymund Sarmiento - James Kevin Ty Jan. 7. I think it has been 4 - 5 months since I took out my Explorer 150PL, as I always used the scopes at RTU instead. This was such a surprise to see overhead when I went to my roofdeck this evening. A beautiful Lunar halo that looked like the 'Eye of the Universe' - Mark Ian Singson Jan. 8. - Christopher Louie Lu Moon's close encounter with Jupiter (just - Norman Marigza inside the halo), plus a moon halo, captured using a 14 mm lens: Jan. 7. Waxing crescent Moon 41% full - 4SE, digiT & ( p. 25). 450D. - Dennis Llante Page 25 alpha February 2014 On the previous page is the 7.7-day old First Quarter Moon 53.6% illuminated. Imaged with a Canon 450d on Celestron Powerseeker 80EQ at f/11. 1/125 second at ISO 400. - Christopher Louie Lu Venus was difficult to image because of its low altitude and the very poor seeing, but its beautiful crescent could be seen in the processed image. Jan. 16. The sky tonight was very cloudy and I was desperately wanting to image the apogee Full Moon, or simply the smallest Full Moon for 2014, and thus I waited for a super small light cloud that hovered in front of the Full Moon to move away to capture this image through my Canon EOS 500D DSLR on TV-101 refractor with 2x Televue Big Barlow. Jan. 20. It’s been brutally cold and the last snowstorm had passed by, leaving a clearing afternoon sky that allowed for a short opening to image the Sun. It was very windy outside, leading to unsteady seeing. Jan. 19. The sky this evening was partly clear, but seeing condition was poor. I couldn't get a good shot of the Moon’s craters up close, so I just ended my session with 2 shots of the waning gibbous Moon at prime focus, as well as a 2x Barlow shot of the crater region through my trusty TV-101 refractor. - Dr. Jett Aguilar Sun Halo Jan. 24. There was a halo around the Sun this afternoon, heralding the approach of Jan. 21. Skies continued to be clear but quite another Alberta clipper bringing in cold air. cold. The temperatures never went above freezing – quite cold that I had to image with the telescope inside the house with the glass door shut, leading to somewhat blurred images because of an additional 2 panes of glass along the visual pathway. - Jun Lao, Mason, Ohio - James Kevin Ty Sun Jan. 1. While the center of the Sun’s disk Jan. 24. Early this morning, after imaging the looked blank, the edges near the limb were supernova at M82, I also took images of the peppered with sunspots, with one large waning crescent Moon and the bright complex rotating into view – AR1944, as AR1936 and AR1940 were heading to the ( p. 26). "morning star", Venus. limb. This was imaged while in Manila. Page 26 alpha February 2014 Jan. 25. It was continued cold, so I had to Jan. 7. Today's sunset with a huge sunspot AR1944 was very large and actually gave off observe and image the Sun from inside the crossing the center of the solar disk. an X-Class flare. This sunspot still had the house, but the air was stable enough that I potential to hurl more flares soon. could image the Sun in Hα using the Coronado Solar Telescope. It was good enough to get the prominences on the limb, but bad enough that I could not get resolution inside the disk: Imaged with a Canon 550D on Celestron MiniMak. 1/4000 second at ISO 100. Imaged from Trece Martires City, Cavite. Jan. 9. White light imaging was a challenge as it was very hard to get to focus, and I could only bring out the largest sunspot regions, AR1959 and AR1960: - Jun Lao, Mason, Ohio AR1946 had remained quiet and was still growing. AR1948 remained stable while new sunspot group AR1949 had grown slightly. Imaged with a Canon 450d on Celestron Powerseeker 80EQ at f/11. 1/3000 sec on ISO 200 with a Baader solar filter, density 3.8. Imaged with a Canon 550D on Explore Scientific DAR102 Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro - Christopher Louie Lu with Baader Solar density 3.8 filter. 1/4000 second at ISO 400. - Arnel Campos Jan. 1. I woke up refreshed after a tiring celebration to celebrate the coming of the Jan. 9. New Year 2014! Jan. 7. Sunspot AR1944 was located at the Sun's center in this image. - Norman Marigza - Oliver Abrigo de Guzman While we here on Earth celebrated New Year Jan. 9. Our local star hosted one of the most with firework explosions and bangs, our closest star was celebrating with a huge impressive sunspots in a very long while. eruptive prominence on the southeast limb! ( p. 27). Page 27 alpha February 2014 AR11941, AR11936, and AR11940 with large eruptive prominence. Jan. 3. The sky this morning was clear and seeing condition was good. Giant AR11944 was slowly emerging out of the eastern limb and showed great prospect of becoming a naked eye sunspot group in the days to come. AR11936 (above) imaged with a ZWO ASI120MM webcam on TV-101 refractor with double-stacked 2X Barlow lens and INTES Herschel Wedge with B+W ND 0.9 and Baader solar continuum filter. AR11936 AR11944 AR11940 and AR11936 It was jaw-dropping as it was the biggest eruptive prominence that I had ever imaged so far. Likewise, AR11936n was also growing large and showing bright flare activities inside its core. What a nice way to welcome the New Year with a Bang! AR11936, on the other hand, was about to exit the western limb in a day or two. In Hα wavelength, AR11944 showed a great amount of solar activity not only on its core, but also its surroundings. Jan. 2. The sky this morning was clear but seeing condition was poor. There was new AR11944 (below) emerging out of the southeast limb. It looked huge and will definitely overshadow AR11936 in size and beauty. AR11936 AR11944, AR11943, and AR11942 with There were also 2 large eruptive prominences visible in the northwest and large eruptive prominence western limbs. AR11936 was nearing the southwest limb. In Hα wavelength, AR11936 and AR11944 were very active while yesterday's huge eruptive prominence was now almost gone with only some remnants of the huge prominence still visible. AR11938, AR11941, AR11936, and AR11940 with large eruptive prominence ( p. 28). Page 28 alpha February 2014 Giant AR11944 continued to stretch in size as it started to come out of its Wilson Effect. AR11944 in Hα slightly toned down but still showed activity inside its core. AR11944 in white light (above) and Hα (below) AR11944 and AR11943 AR11944 Large eruptive prominence Jan. 4. The sky this morning was clear and seeing condition was good. Giant AR11944 was the most prominent feature on the Sun and was a naked eye sunspot. In Hα Huge eruptive prominence wavelength, AR11944 was a joy to look at as it showed very active flares and solar activity inside its core. There was also a huge eruptive prominence visible in the southeast limb as well as 2 large eruptive prominences visible in the northwest limb. Twin large eruptive prominences, which could be the ends of a broken loop prominence Jan. 5. The sky this morning was partly clear and seeing condition was good. AR11944 and AR11943 Jan. 6. The sky this morning was slightly hazy but seeing condition was still good.
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