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A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, during instances when the Sun, the Earth, and the moon are in alignment. One such event will occur on October 8, 2014, visible from anywhere in the Philippines, from 6 to 8 pm (Philippine Time). The eclipse will also be visible in most parts of Asia, and North and South America.

October_8_2014_eclipse_visibility_map

Shaded areas indicate locations where the eclipse will be visible. Depending on the location, observers may see a partial eclipse or a total eclipse. (Reference: NASA GSFC/F.Espenak)

How to Observe and What to Expect

In the Philippines, a total lunar eclipse will be observed–the moon darkens and turns deep red-orange as it passes completely through the Earth’s shadow. Observing the eclipse requires no special equipment. The event may be observed from anywhere in the country provided that there is a clear view of the eastern horizon, and no clouds block the view of the moon. On October 8, 2014, simply face east from 6 to 8 pm and wait for the moon to rise. The best time to observe will be at around 6:55 pm, at eclipse maximum .

Lunar_Eclispe_Oct_8_2014

View of the eastern horizon at eclipse maximum (6:55 pm Philippine Time or 10:55 Universal Time) on October 8, 2014. Simulated image generated using Stellarium. (Click to enlarge.)

I intend to observe and photograph the eclipse with fellow astronomy enthusiasts, most likely from the vicinity of Quezon City. I will be setting up a telescope to achieve close-up views of the moon. Those who wish to join the observation may send a request to nightskyinfocus[at]gmail.com. Clear skies!

To subscribe to this site and learn about upcoming astronomical events, click here. For previous lunar eclipse observations, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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Astro-Imaging in Bosoboso March 30, 2014

Imaging the night sky in Antipolo, Philippines, last March 29-30, 2014 with fellow astrophotography enthusiasts. I was able to visually observe some Messier objects near Sagittarius, along with the Milky Way, which is now well-placed in the southern horizon at around 3-4 am. I will be posting  images soon. For previous observations, click here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

AHA_interview_anthony_urbano

TV interview on astrophotography aired on March 2, 2014

I had an interview with GMA 7 on imaging planets, galaxies, and nebula using a telescope, as part of a feature on various types of photography. The segment was aired last March 2, 2014, at AHA!, a science and technology program hosted by Drew Arellano. For a recording of the interview, click here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

A sudden burst of light called a satellite flare will be visible in the sky in the early morning of March 30, 2014 (Sunday) as a satellite named Iridium 37 directs sunlight towards ground through one of its large reflective antennas. Even with just the naked eye, observers should see the satellite emerge from the northern horizon at around 5:16 am, slowly climb as it reaches overhead (zenith) at 5:23 am, and continue to brighten up as it moves southward reaching its peak brightness at around 5:24 am (Philippine Standard Time), positioned approximately 50 degrees above the southern horizon then eventually fade and disappear at around 5:30 am.

Flare_March30_FacingSouth

The illustration shows how the sky will look like on March 30, 2014 during a predicted sudden brightening (or flare) of a satellite (named Iridium 37) at around 5:24 am (Philippine Standard Time), approximately 50 degrees above the southern horizon. Satellite flares are caused by sunlight bouncing off a satellite’s reflective surface like antenna or solar panels acting as giant space mirrors directing sunlight towards the ground, with peak brightness lasting for several seconds. Map of the sky generated using Stellarium.

Aside from the satellite, naked-eye objects such as the Moon, Venus, and Mercury will also be visible in the eastern horizon, as well as Saturn and Mars in the western horizon. For a detailed map of the sky (generated by Heavens-Above) that shows the path of the satellite, click here.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Here are some night-sky images taken during our recent visit to Coron, Palawan, one of the country’s top tourist destination, known for its pristine beaches and crystal clear waters.

Coron_Palawan_MilkyWay_Westown

Image of the Milky Way taken in Coron, Palawan, at around 4 am on March 8, 2014 using a Canon 600D and an 18-55 mm kit lens, set at 18 mm, f/3.5, ISO 3200. The camera was mounted on a tripod and was pointed approximately 45 degrees above the southern horizon, at 30 seconds exposure.

Here is another photo taken at the viewing deck atop Mt. Tapyas, a hill situated at the center of Coron’s town proper. It was a long climb taking all 742 steps, but once we have reached the top, it was all worth the effort because we were greeted with one of the best views of the Milky Way we have seen to date.

Coron_Palawan_MilkyWay_MountTapyas

Milky Way taken at Mt. Tapyas, in Coron, Palawan, at around 4 am on March 9, 2014 using a Canon 600D and an 18-55 mm kit lens, set at 18 mm, f/3.5, ISO 1600. The camera was mounted on a tripod and was pointed approximately 45 degrees above the southern horizon, and was exposed for 30 seconds.

Aside from the sea and the sand, Coron also offers pristine dark skies that will definitely impress anyone who loves to gaze at the stars above. To learn how to take photos like these using a DSLR, click here.

For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.

For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.

To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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