Friday, November 19, 2010

Leonids Meteor Shower

The UP Astronomical Society is hosting an observation tomorrow for the Leonids meteor shower. The observation, which is open to the public, will be held at the sun deck of PAGASA Observatory in the University of the Philippines Diliman campus, from 10pm to 6am.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Philippine-made Rockets

A few years ago a cousin of mine told me about the supposedly top-secret project of then President Ferdinand Marcos to develop a rocket or missile indigenously. The name of the rocket is Bongbong 1. I was incredulous when I heard about it (until today) when I remembered the story and did some googling.

What I unearthed is that there is actually a program, called Santa Barbara Project, and the launching pad of the missiles/rockets was the Caballo Island, which is near Corregidor.

There's a thread at that has some pictures of the launching of the rockets/missiles (pics above). One version of the rocket can be launched by a mobile truck-mounted launcher, and there is also a submerged launcher, like from a submarine probably.

To quote:

"Since 1972 a series of 37 dynamic tests were conducted on the 180-mm rocket. All tests were performed at Caballo Island except for four firings in Fort Magsaysay. Different versions...were used: short version, with fixed fins, long version with fixed fins, long version with folding fins, and the pressure-assisted takeoff type...The launchers were Fixed Open Frame (short), Fixed Open Frame (long), truck-mounted tube launcher, truck-mounted open frame and submerged launcher for underwater firing"

this is Caballo Island, as seen from Corregidor (taken by me last January 2010):

updated Jan. 18, 2012 to add the quotes and to increase the image sizes.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Starry Night

This painting by Vincent van Gogh is one of my favorites (the other is Edvard Munch's The Scream), I am fortunate to see this in person while visiting the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The constellation Ursa Major can be seen in the painting. The swirling sky in the painting resembles the V838 Monoceros, and it has also been compared to a drawing of the Whirlpool Galaxy drawn 44 years before the painting.