Exclusive Stargazing Event

A stargazing event could easily become the highlight of your exclusive event (such a birthday party, a wedding, a company event, or any other personal event).

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Looking at the moon through a telescope

The stargazing package may include the following depending on the sky conditions:

1. Moon Astrophotography using the Telescope (1 hour)
2. Basic Stargazing and Finding Constellations (1 hour)
3. Planet Viewing using the Telescope—-Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and Venus (1 hour)

The details of each part is explained below:

1. Moon Astrophotography

Using the telescope, we will view the moon and take up-close pictures of it (any mobile phone camera can very well do this). Through a telescope, you can clearly see the craters of the moon. Everyone will surely be amazed. You can ask your guests to upload photos of the moon in social media to boost interest. The views and photos your guests will be getting will rival those taken by professional photographers. Moon viewing and photography alone can make your event a unique and truly wonderful experience.


2. Basic Stargazing and Finding Constellations

Your guests will gather around and I will teach them the constellations. We will use a flashlight with red cellophane cover to read maps of the heaven. I will prepare star maps for the specific date you are requesting. These maps will be used by your guests to navigate the night sky. I will then use a powerful laser to point at the stars and constellations as the participants identify them using their maps (this is called star-hopping). I will show them the planets that can be seen with the naked eye. And lastly, I will teach them how to find north without using a compass, but by using the star, Polaris.

3. Planet Viewing using a Powerful Telescope

Several planets are usually visible each night. If visible (it depends on the time of the night and the month of the year), we will use a telescope to look at Jupiter and 4 of its brightest moons, Saturn with its rings, Venus, and Mars.

Important:

As with all stargazing events, if it rains, then we will not see the moon, the stars, and the planets (clouds prevent us from seeing them). This is a very real possibility, thus, must be anticipated. If this happens, I have prepared 2 lectures for your guests, which we can conduct on any covered space (will need a projector and a microphone). The lecture part is just a backup and will not be conducted if the sky is clear.

Let me know if you have any questions. This could be one of the most memorable stargazing events you and your guest could get to experience (and if you receive good feedback, I’d be happy to work with you on a future stargazing events).

To request an exclusive stargazing event, email: aeurbano@up.edu.ph or call 09954997030.

To view our previous observations, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

 

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Stargazing in Antipolo

As you move away from a city, the glaring lights that cause light pollution are greatly diminished, allowing one to see fainter stars. In recent years, Antipolo has been of a particular interest to astronomy enthusiasts, perhaps this is due to its relatively dark skies and short travel distance from Manila. A popular destination is Seven Suites Hotel Observatory, which opened in 1998. This hotel allows you to conduct stargazing sessions in the comforts of a hotel. Another popular site is intended for the outdoor type who wants to setup tents in a camp site–the Big Handy’s Grounds.

For about 7 years now, me and my colleagues–a rather tight group (less than ten people) have been taking astronomical photos from a less known but equally capable site in Antipolo. It has become our favorite observing site because it is safe, it has power (for our laptops, telescopes, and cameras), there are facilities that we can use, and of course, we can arrange exclusive access to the place.

Basically, any place in Antipolo, be it a resort, a campsite, or a full-fledged hotel, should offer skies dark enough for visual and astronomical photography work. If you are into astronomy, find a spot there and start observing!

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)

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!

visit_sevensuites

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.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

UP NISMED Observatory (Quezon City)

The UP NISMED Observatory in UP Diliman, Quezon City, houses one of the country’s most powerful and most modern telescopes. Its main telescope is a 40 cm (16 in) reflecting telescope, equipped with accessories which include a 20 cm (8 in) refractor guidescope, an 8×50 finderscope, and a fully-automated, motor-driven mount.

Stargazing activities are conducted at the UP NISMED Observatory during months of January, February, and March each year.


This is the first of a series of posts about the various astronomical observatories in the 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.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

MaSci’s Science Month (September 2016)

Manila Science High School celebrates Science Month with the Manila Street Astronomers on September 16, 2016. The event was open for all students, parents/guardians, teachers, and alumni of the Manila Science High School.

For previous observations, click here.
To request a free observation for your school, kindly get in touch with 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.
To subscribe to this site, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Planets observed at SM MOA (April 30, 2016)

Here are some photos of last night’s public observation conducted by the Astronomical League of the Philippines and the Manila Street Astronomers at the SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City, featuring the planets Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars.

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

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Global Astronomy Month (April 2016)

Manila Street Astronomers (MSA) celebrates Global Astronomy Month this April by conducting a series of free public observations in various places in Metro Manila. Below are some of the photos taken yesterday during the observation at the UP Town Center in Diliman, QC.

For more photos, click here.

MSA conducts regular public observations and will be holding another one tonight, April 24, 2016, from 7 to 9 pm, at the Alabang Town Center in Muntinlupa.

For previous observations, click here.
To keep posted on upcoming astronomical events, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)