Big Dipper and Mayon Volcano

I have always wondered how big Mayon volcano would be when framed against the night sky, as viewed from an easily accessible location such as Legazpi City. The photo below shows the apparent altitude (or its height measured in degrees) of Mayon, with the Big Dipper asterism framed in the background to provide a sense of scale.

Mayon Volcano framed against the Big Dipper, taken on March 27, 2016 at around 3:48 am. As viewed from Legazpi, Albay, Mayon has an apparent altitude of only about 11.5 degrees (for comparison with Polaris, click here).

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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines

Splitting Double Stars: Mizar A and B, April 15, 2012

Mizar, one of the stars in the Big Dipper forms a visual double, a chance alignment with the star Alcor, but a careful inspection with a 2-3 inch telescope reveals that Mizar itself is a true double star: Mizar A and Mizar B. Sky-Watcher 4-in f/9 refractor, Kenko NES mount, Canon 450D DSLR,3 sec exp, IS0 1600. April 15, 2012. UP Diliman. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano


How to Find Polaris (The North Star)

As viewed from the Philippines, Polaris, the North Star, lies 15 degrees above the northern horizon. To find Polaris, look first for the asterism The Big Dipper (which should be visible in the northeastern horizon at around 1-2 a.m. this month) then use the stars Merak and Dubhe to point directly to Polaris, as shown in the photo. This composite of 2 images was taken last January 31, 2012 at 2 a.m. in UP Diliman using a point-and-shoot camera on a tripod.

Facing north at 2 a.m., January 31, 2012, UP Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

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