Moon joins Venus and Jupiter on Jan 31, 2019

In a previous post, I’ve described how to observe the pairing of Venus and Jupiter, best viewed from January 16 to 27, 2019. On January 31, 5:30 am, the two planets will be joined by the moon to form a celestial triangle. This is one of the most fascinating sights in amateur astronomy, do not miss it! On February 1 (a day after), the moon will still be in the general direction of the two planets, but will not form an impressive triangle as in January 31.

moon-venus-jupiter conjunction january 31 2019
Face east at 5:30 am on January 31, 2019

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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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MSA’s Astronomy Outreach Events 2019

The first few months of the year are known to Manila-based astronomers as the astronomy season, because this is the time of the year Manila and nearby provinces experience clear skies (the rest of the year are rainy months not suitable for astronomical observations). My colleagues at Manila Street Astronomers (MSA) are now conducting FREE telescope viewing events not only in Manila, but in other provinces as well. These outreach astronomy events are open to everyone (bring your kids, and the whole family)!

Below is a list of MSA’s astronomy outreach events for January (bookmark this page as I will update this post as soon as schedule for other months become available).

msa january 2019
MSA’s Astronomy Outreach Events for January

Arrive early, and bring your cameras. If the moon is visible, volunteer astronomers will assist you in getting a photo of the moon!

Manila Street Astronomers is a non-profit outreach astronomy group. For most recent events announcements, please head directly to their website.

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For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Venus and Jupiter Pair Up in the Sky

This is an ongoing sky event. Watch a video of the event taken on January 16, 5:30 am, in Bacoor, Cavite.

Venus and Jupiter will appear close together in the sky, from January 16 to 27, 2019, visible in the Philippines and most parts of the world. These two planets can be seen with the naked eye, no telescopes needed. A mobile phone camera should be adequate enough to capture this event (if you use a DSLR, then perhaps you can capture a photo of you with the planets in the background).

Information on how to spot the planets are provided below:

venus - jupiter conjunction january 2019
Visible anywhere in the Philippines (and most parts of the world), no telescopes needed, just use your eyes!

How to spot the pairing of Jupiter and Venus

1. Wake up early. The planet pair is best viewed at around 5:30 am (Philippine Standard Time), from January 16 to 27, 2019.
2. Face the eastern horizon. Pick a good spot, free of any obstruction. If there is a structure such as house or building, you might not be able to see the pairing.
3. If you plan to observe the event every day, make sure to take a photo (or at least try to draw their position). Include the bright stars in your sketch. You should notice that every day, the position of the two changes! That is exactly how early astronomers were able to figure out that they are planets, and not stars (they do seem to wander, that’s why they are called wanderer—or planets! Google it up!)

Let’s hope for clear skies! Don’t forget to share this post! Wake up everyone, this is a rare astronomical event!!

To keep posted with astronomical events visible in the Philippines, visit my blog site (run by a local amateur astronomer and astrophotographer) www.nightskyinfocus.com.

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.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

SSTV Image from the ISS (October 29, 2018)

SSTV October 29, 2018, 241 am 4G1AWN
SSTV image received and decoded from the International Space Station (ISS) as it passes over the Philippines on October 29, 2018, around 2:41 local time

The International Space Station (ISS) has been transmitting images since October 28 and will continue to do so in the next few days. It transmits in SSTV format—the same format used to send images to Earth during the Apollo missions. The transmissions can be received with any radio tuned at 145.8 MHz, and a decoder app such as Robot 36 (try installing that app and decode this recording).

To learn more about receiving SSTV images from the ISS, click here.
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Lunar Eclipse on July 28, 2018

In the Philippines, eclipse maximum will occur at 4:21 am on July 28, 2018

The moon will turn red on July 28, 2018, visible from 3:30 am to 5:13 am in the Philippines. The best time to view the moon will be at 4:21 am when the moon is at its deepest red hue. No special equipment is required to view the eclipse, although binoculars used for birding and other outdoor activities will greatly improve the viewing experience.

The eclipse will be visible in most parts of Africa (9:30 pm to 11:13 pm on July 27) and Asia (midnight of July 27 to early morning of July 28). Only the end part of the eclipse will be visible in Southern America from 5 pm to 8 pm on July 27 (one side of the moon will turn dark, but will not turn red).

To find out the exact time of the eclipse in your location, checkout this interactive eclipse map here.

To receive updates on upcoming astronomical events, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Sending and Receiving SSTV Images

In the previous post, I have mentioned that I am currently engaged in amateur radio activities, particularly, satellite communications. At the moment, I am only receiving transmissions from the International Space Station (ISS). Shown below is the gear I use to send and receive SSTV images.

Equipment for Sending and Receiving SSTV Images

  • Transmitter (Motorola CP1660) + DIY connector (smart phone’s line out to transmitter’s microphone in) + encoder (smart phone with SSTV Encoder app)
  • Receiver (Motorola CP1660) + DIY connector (transmitter’s line out to smart phone’s microphone in) + decoder (smart phone with Robot 36 app)
SSTV RX TX
Equipment for sending and receiving SSTV images

For more info about amateur radio in the field of astronomy, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Eclipse Observation aired in Local TV Channels

 

My total lunar eclipse observation was featured and aired in three local TV channels—Unang Balita GMA 7, GMA News TV Channel 11, and CNN Philippines.

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.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Total Lunar Eclipse (January 31, 2018)

Total Lunar Eclipse January 31 2018
Total Lunar Eclipse taken with a 4-inch f/9 refractor and a DSLR camera on January 31, 2018 at the PAGASA Observatory in UP Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano

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.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

MSA celebrates 2017 InOMN

For inquiries, please contact the Manila Street Astronomers. Photo Credit: MSA (Published with permission.)

Manila Street Astronomers will be holding a free telescope viewing on October 28, 2017 (Saturday) at SM North EDSA in Quezon City and at the Alabang Town Center in Alabang. Feel free to bring your kids and family as we celebrate the 2017 International Observe the Moon Night.

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)