Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mayon Volcano from Space

One of Philippines most active volcano, Mt. Mayon, is spewing lava and ash, seen in this photo taken by NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite

photo by NASA

Thursday, December 10, 2009

GIant Mysterious Spirals Demystified

The giant spiral light that appeared over the skies in Norway is just a failed Russian rocket launch.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Hong Kong Space Museum

Visiting Hong Kong would normally mean shopping and Disneyland, but there's more to the island than unbridled capitalism. You may visit the Hong Kong Space Museum instead.

The museum, located in Shim Sha Tsui district in Kowloon, doesn't have displays as extensive as the one I visited in Shanghai, but there's a gem or two in the displays, including the ancient Chinese rockets, and the diorama depicting the Moon landing.

Entrance fee is HK$20.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Leonids Meteor Shower

I went to the PAGASA observatory in UP Diliman to join my colleagues from UP AstroSoc in observing the Leonids meteor shower.

The inconsiderate news crew of GMA7 and ABS-CBN ruined the experienced by flooding the area with camera lights and flashing the high-beams of their vehicles.

I saw one, maybe two meteors, in two hours.

Friday, October 30, 2009

ARES I-X Launch

Ares I-X was the first test flight in the Ares I program, a launch system for human spaceflight currently under development by the United States space agency NASA. Ares I-X was successfully launched on October 28, 2009. [Wikipedia]

Friday, October 16, 2009

Carl Sagan "Pale Blue Dot"

Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot. There are several different versions of "The Pale Blue Dot" on-line. The actual words were taken from Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot" audio-book, the music was performed by Vangelis but was extracted from the Cosmos DVD (English audio track 2 has no narration, just the background sounds and the music.) All the pictures inserted by the author of this video to portray what he feels Carl Sagan was trying to say.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Appeal for Donations

Send relief goods to Caritas Manila Office at Jesus St., Pandacan Manila near Nagtahan Bridge ( 5639298/5639308)


Radio Veritas at Veritas Tower West Ave. Corner EDSA (tel no. 9257931-40).

Goods required are Canned food, rice, used clothes especially for children, milk.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

South Korea Joins Rocket Club

South Korea joined the elite club of countries with capability to loft satellites into space with the launch of Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1.

update: Payload failed to reach full orbit, according to CNN

Monday, August 10, 2009

Solar Eclipse

Composite image of multiple exposure shots I took during the total solar eclipse, in Jinshanwei, China last July 22, 2009.

Totality happened at 9:36 local time and lasted for 5'58". The eclipse is the longest in 21st century.

Technical details:
Pentax * ST-DL, 45mm focal length, f4.5, exposure times vary between 0.3 and 1 second due to changing cloud cover; neutral density 5.0 Baader AstroSolar filter.

Post-processing by Bamm Gabriana.

Solar Eclipse 2009

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Halitosis is not Allowed in Space

China has stringent requirements for its would be astronauts. Candidates with scars won't be considered, because they could bleed during spacecraft acceleration. Persons with bad breath? Don't bother.

ISS & the Sun

The International Space Station transiting across the surface of the sun. The picture is taken by Thierry Legault using an ordinary telescope and filters.

Ares I-X Shaping Up

NASA's Ares I-X is shaping up for Oct 31 launch. The rocket will launch astronauts after the space shuttle fleet is retired in 2010.

more here

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

6 Minutes Before Totality

Here's the composite image of the sun at 6, 4 and 2 minutes before totality which I took during the July 22 eclipse in Jinshanwei, China. (I'm one of the two in-charge with multiple exposures). The eclipse occurred at 9:43 local time.

The storm clouds blocked the sun's disc during totality but the darkness was very apparent.

Shanghai Science & Technology Museum


Space-themed exhibit of the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum: mock-ups of rockets and satellites, meteorite samples, and a live data stream from China's weather satellite.

Friday, July 24, 2009

2009 Eclipse Totality

Here's the video of the totality of the 2009 solar eclipse. Me and my colleagues from the UP Astronomical Society observed the eclipse in Jinshanwei, aboout 100km south of Shanghai, China.

Storm clouds covered the sun's disc 2 minutes before the totality, but the darkness was so apparent once the moon covered the sun, as can be seen from the video.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Apollo 11 Launch 40th Anniversary

Today is the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, which landed on the moon four days later, on July 20, 1969.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Primer on 2009 Solar Eclipse

The UP Astronomical Society will send an expedition to Shanghai to witness and document the rare event.

The team site is here.

(Slides from the lecture on the 2009 Total Solar eclipse given by UP Astronomical Society alumni Bamm Gabriana.)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Solar Eclipse 2009

Me and my colleagues at the University of the Philippines Astronomical Society will be going to Shanghai for the total solar eclipse on July 22, 2009.

As one of the activities we are launching a site dedicated to the endeavor. Please take some time to visit it:


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

First Images from LCROSS

NASA's newest Moon probe, LCROSS, sent its first images of the lunar surface. LCROSS, launched last June 17, 2009, was designed to investigate the moon's polar regions and look for ice/water.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Meteorite Falls in N. Europe

A mysterious blue ball of light from the sky was photographed in northern Germany. The crashing of the ball of light was followed by a loud bang and a shockwave.

Thanks Joan! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Milky Way Transit Authority

Samuel Arbesman created a sort of a light rail transit map for the Milky Way

Web site here (you can download the PDF), via Gadling

Falcon 9 on Launch Pad

Space-X's Falcon 9 is ready at its launch pad in Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX completed the Falcon 9 vehicle integration in a horizontal position on December 30, 2008. After integration, Falcon 9 was lifted and mated to a transporter erector system, designed and built by SpaceX, which carried the 17 foot diameter, 180 foot long rocket to the launch pad. On January 10, 2009 at 12:45 PM EST, SpaceX began the process of raising Falcon 9 and approximately 30 minutes later, Falcon 9 stood vertical at the Cape.