Talk on Amateur Radio Satellites

On October 28, 2019, I was invited by the UP Resilience Institute-NOAH to deliver a talk about amateur radio satellites.

Amateur radio satellites are orbiting relay stations that enable long distance communications using only a two-way radio and a home-brewed antenna. Unlike other communications systems like the cellular service and the Internet, satellites do not rely on ground-based communications infrastructure. If a locality is hit with a major disaster, damage to infrastructure will render the cellular phones and the Internet unusable, but satellites in space will continue to function. In this talk, I’ve discussed how to access these amateur radio satellites, and explained how to setup a home-brewed satellite phone for reliable communication in times of disaster.  

To view all posts on amateur radio satellite communications, click here.

Related link:
4th UP RI-NOAH Talk on Disaster Resiliency

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© 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)

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.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Seven Suites Hotel Observatory

The Seven Suites Hotel Observatory differentiates itself from all other hotels in the country with its unique feature: it is a hotel and at the same time, an astronomical observatory!

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Here are some reasons why I believe Seven Suites a good place to conduct astronomical observations, especially for kids and the family:

1. It offers skies dark enough for some decent visual observations and astronomy photography. For astronomy enthusiasts, a safe place with dark skies is very appealing.

2. It is equipped with a 12-inch telescope (one of the most powerful in the country). Using this telescope, it is possible to see Jupiter and its moons, Saturn and its rings, icecaps of Mars, phases of Venus, the craters of the moon, some galaxies, and nebula. Of course, it will all depend on the weather and the time of the year.

3. Its resident astronomer, Ramon, is more than qualified to guide you in observing the moon, stars, and the planets. Ramon is also a good friend of mine and a colleague at the UP Astronomical Society (our astronomy club back in college).

4. It has a good vantage point. Since it is located in the elevated areas of Antipolo, you can take good photos of the sunset and city lights from its observing deck. It is recommended that you bring cameras or binoculars.

5. It is a hotel observatory! You can either spend the night under the stars (literally sleep under the stars) or opt to book a room instead. It means you get to enjoy astronomy without the hassle of camping out. It also means you’ll have access to electricity and the Internet.

Next time you hear news about astronomical events such as a super moon, a meteor shower, a solar or lunar eclipse, an appearance of a comet, or simply, a desire to enjoy some star or moon gazing, be sure to check out Seven Suites.

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)

Mobile Planetarium

I had a chance to view a simulated night sky in National Museum Planetarium’s mobile planetarium on August 13, 2016. The planetarium is about 5 meters high (from floor to dome ceiling). It uses a fish eye lens mounted onto an LCD projector to display images of the sky.

Here are some photos taken during the virtual sky tour.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Filipino NASA Engineer talks about the Mars Rover

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Filipino-American NASA JPL Engineer Gregorio Villar III (center) with members of the University of the Philippines Astronomical Society (UP Astrosoc). Photo Credit: UP EEEI

Filipino-American NASA JPL Engineer Gregorio Villar III discussed about the development and the daily operations of the Curiosity rover in his talk Moving the Joystick: What it Really Takes to Operate a Rover on Mars on August 11, 2016, at the National Institute of Physics in UP Diliman, an  event organized by the UP Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (UP EEEI) and the Philippine Microsatellite (PHL-Microsat) Program.

For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Free Lectures at the Manila Planetarium

The National Museum Planetarium will be holding a series of lectures on August 13, 2016, Saturday, starting from 1 pm to 6 pm, at the Planetarium in Rizal Park, Luneta. The event is open to the public and the registration is free.

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Free lectures on various astronomy topics on August 13, 2016. For inquiries, kindly contact the National Museum Planetarium and the Manila Street Astronomers.

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 holds first Public Lecture

More than one hundred astronomy enthusiasts attended Manila Street Astronomer’s (MSA) lecture on July 17, 2016 at the National Museum Planetarium in Luneta, Manila, with the topic The Moon and How to Observe It. The lecture was held 47 years after man first set foot on the moon in July 1969!

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Manila Street Astronomers (MSA) conducts its first public lecture on July 17, 2016 (Photo Credit: MSA). For more photos, click here.

To keep posted on upcoming MSA events such as free lectures on various astronomy topics and telescope viewings of the moon and the planets, 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)

Worldwide Solstice Festival

Worldwide Solstice Festival organized by the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) with special participation of the Guild for Astronomy Innovation and Advancement (GAIA) and the Manila Street Astronomers (MSA), June 19, 2016, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City, Philippines.

For a list of upcoming events and previous observations, click here.
To keep posted on upcoming astronomical events, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)