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Member Reports from Norman Marigza

Apr 07

Are Satellites Threatening Our Night Skies?

John Green once said “the darkest nights produce the brightest stars.” This is something that the astronomical community understand all too well as observations require clear dark skies to be able to make out the faintest details. For years the community has dealt with the problem of light pollution resulting from excessive lighting and improperly directed light fixtures. This is a problem that affects not only the astronomy community but multiple other aspects such as the environment and human health. Aside from light pollution our dark skies maybe threatened by an additional problem. Recently there has been concern over the... Read More...

Feb 03

Philippine Telescope Hour 2020

“ If there were a million people, with telescopes, willing to get them out for the public, there will be a chance for the people born on this world to see where the hell they are. ” - John Dobson The Manila Street Astronomers, being a community primarily dedicated to astronomy outreach through free telescope viewings, organized a public engagement event in 2017 called the Philippine Telescope Hour. The idea was that telescope owners and astronomy organizations from around the country would setup their telescopes and share what they can see for at least an hour in their own respective... Read More...

Dec 29

Proper Solar Safety

Activities like the annular solar eclipse last December 26 often get a lot of media attention. Astronomers and telescope manufacturers always caution against directly viewing the Sun, but sometimes the increased media attention brings a certain 'fear of missing out'. Several free telescope viewing setups were even deployed across the Philippine archipelago just to provide the public with a chance to view the eclipsed Sun safely. But since the activity falls right after Christmas and there is only so much ground that local astronomy groups can cover, people attempted to view and image the eclipse through unsafe methods. While events... Read More...

Oct 08

InOMN 2019

On the night of October 5, 2019 the Manila Street Astronomers community conducted several event setups for the International Observe the Moon Night. The group conducted lectures and free telescope viewings at Cavite, Mandaluyong, SM North EDSA, Angono, Mendiola, and Baguio. Other astronomy organizations and individuals also conducted their respective setups (unfortunately not all were registered). At the start of the month the local astronomy community was worried due to cloudy and rainy skies accompanying Tropical Storm 19W (Onyok) that lasted until the night of October 4. From my end in Baguio City we had to cancel the telescope viewing... Read More...

Jul 26

Astronomy and Cloudy Skies

Observational astronomy is one of the most appealing aspects of astronomy. Be it in gazing at the starry skies, looking through a telescope, or capturing the beauty through a camera, there will always be something that appeals to the general public. Those of us who venture out into the dark sites are stunned by the beauty of a star filled sky and would want to be able to see more of it. But alas, be it in dark sites or more urbanized locations we share a common enemy in observational astronomy – clouds! For those of us who live in... Read More...

Jun 05

Sining ng Langit 2019

As a promotion of the Arts and Culture Program of the Astronomers Without Borders, the Astronomy PH e-zine includes a feature called Sining ng Langit (Art of the Heavens) during its second quarter issue. The feature highlights various artists who share their unique expressions of art and astronomy in the Philippines. This also aims to highlight the AstroArts and AstroPoetry during the Global Astronomy Month, and the Buwan ng Panitikan (National Poetry Month). For this year's Sining ng Langit we feature artists Natasha Sarmiento, Roselle Suyat, Rheanne Odessa, and award-winning solar pyrographer Jordan Mang-osan. Rheanne Odessa uses her digital doodles... Read More...

May 01

GAM2019 Philippine Report

GAM in the Philippines is generally celebrated by various astronomy organizations through public astronomy outreach events. The celebration began with the International Dark-Sky Week from March 31-April 7. An infographic campaign was launched by the Guild for Astronomy Innovation and Advancement – Open Research and Collaborative Learning Experience (GAIA-ORACLE). Each infographic was designed as a 4-panel Facebook image discussing a particular aspect of dark sky preservation. Additional descriptions and useful links to further reading were also provided for some panels. The first in the series of infographics was posted in March 19 to give ample time to promote IDSW and... Read More...

Feb 26

Preserving Our Night Skies

On February 24, the University of the Philippines Astronomical Society conducted their Astronomy Convention at the Palma Hall of the University of the Philippines. The convention was targeted for HS students and their teachers. Topics that were discussed included theoretical astronomy, observational astronomy, data science in astronomy, and space technology. For the observational astronomy side, AWB National Coordinator for the Philippines discussed about light pollution and the value of dark sites for astronomical observations. The different aspects of light pollution (glare, sky glow, light trespass, clutter) were elaborated, and effects on ecology, energy waste, and human health were also identified.... Read More...

May 02

Global Astronomy Month 2018 – Philippines

Global Astronomy Month 2018 – Philippines Report from the AWB National Coordinator for the Philippines The Global Astronomy Month celebrations in the Philippines was participated by various astronomy organizations with the shared passion to bring astronomy closer to all without borders. Although only 3 events were registered by AWB members Sobina and Norman, various outreach astronomy events and online campaigns took place throughout the month. On the 1 st day several Free Telescope Viewing (FTV) events were setup at various locations. The Bedan Society of Young Astronomers (BSYA) conducted an FTV event at Robinsons Place Las Pi ñ as on... Read More...

May 02

Global Astronomy Month 2018 – Philippines

Global Astronomy Month 2018 – Philippines Report from the AWB National Coordinator for the Philippines The Global Astronomy Month celebrations in the Philippines was participated by various astronomy organizations with the shared passion to bring astronomy closer to all without borders. Although only 3 events were registered by AWB members Sobina and Norman, various outreach astronomy events and online campaigns took place throughout the month. On the 1 st day several Free Telescope Viewing (FTV) events were setup at various locations. The Bedan Society of Young Astronomers (BSYA) conducted an FTV event at Robinsons Place Las Piñas on March 31... Read More...

Oct 01

Under the Stars

Last September 29, the journalism students of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines – College of Communication brought together astronomy enthusiasts from around the university and the general public to attend a lecture and stargazing event. The program was a fund-raising activity for the iCommunicate 13: Alpas, which is the developmental collegiate magazine of the College of Communication. Alpas in the Filipino language means to break free, and in the same essence the group seeks to break free from the usual and typical stereotype, surpassing all challenges and soaring high to reach the peak of excellence. The group coordinated with... Read More...

Apr 30

GAM 2017 Philippines – The Last Week

The last week of the 2017 Global Astronomy Month celebration One of the strengths of the local astronomy community of the Philippines is in doing astronomy outreach activities. To celebrate the Global Astronomy Month astronomy organizations from the Philippines have organized telescope viewing events throughout the month of April. For the last week of April we start with the SunDay event. We have the Astronomical League of the Philippines setting up at the Mall of Asia to give the public a chance to view the Sun in H-alpha and white light. The Manila Street Astronomers continues its series of free... Read More...

Apr 22

GAM 2017 Philippines – The 2nd and 3rd Week

The first week of the 2017 Global Astronomy Month celebration in the Philippines was dominated with free telescope viewing (FTV) events. The Philippine local astronomy community is very active in its astronomy outreach and telescope viewing events. Here is a listing of GAM activities for the 2nd and 3rd week: The 9 th day of April has the Manila Street Astronomers (MSA) setting up at the Alabang Town Center to showcase the Moon and Jupiter. For day 10, we have the Rizal Technological University Astronomy Society conducting a Telescope workshop, and MSA setting up at McDonald's Antlers for an FTV.... Read More...

Apr 10

GAM2017 – Philippines; the First Week

The Global Astronomy Month celebration began on Saturday April 1, 2017 with the Global Star Party as its first event. The Filipino Astronomy community is very active in astronomy outreach so for the entire week the free telescope viewing events are very dominant. There were three free telescope viewing event setups reported for the first day. The first two were by the Manila Street Astronomers (MSA), and the other was by the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP). The MSA setup at streets of Barangay Platero, Biñan, Laguna for some sidewalk astronomy; and at Pintoresco, Alfonso, Cavite for STEM teachers... Read More...

Dec 01

Astronomy for the Filipino Youth

Astronomy compels us to look up to the skies, to wonder and to discover. The youth of today's generation will belong to the space generation; and last November 29, the Manila Street Astronomers decided to promote that fact to the grade 10 students of Quezon City Science High School. The group was invited to speak during the school's career orientation in order to inspire them to take interest in other subject fields such as astronomy and space sciences. Astronomy is relatively new in the Philippines with only two universities offering a degree program. Because of this I decided to give... Read More...

Jul 18

The Moon and How to Observe It

The Manila Street Astronomers conducted a public lecture event last July 17 at the National Museum Planetarium. The lecture was entitled The Moon and How to Observe It and was given by MSA core team members Christopher Louie Lu and Norman Marigza. The MSA event was originally designed for the cast and crew (volunteers); but as the advocacy of MSA goes, we aim to make astronomy accessible to the public. Our original estimate was for 20 individuals, which later became 50 the day before the event. We were setup at the NMP Library which soon became a full-house during the... Read More...

Sep 09

Artists Help a Young Astro Lover

From September 4 - October 6, artists have come together to help a 4-year old boy named Aedan Pio who was diagnosed with chordoma - a rare type of cancer. The Philippine Lung Center and the Oxygen Art and Gallery Design is hosting an art exhibit for a cause entitled Dots in Space , to aid in raising funds for the necessary proton beam therapy ($250,000). This young boy loves to do water colors of the solar system, and dreams of becoming an astronaut. His paintings will be sold along with the paintings of the invited artists. The proceeds of... Read More...

Jul 02

Venus-Jupiter Conjunction [An Update]

Yesterday I posted images from June 30 of the close planetary pairing of Venus and Jupiter. From the Philippines the closest approach was last night (July 1). Here are the images from their closest pairing. Read More...

Jul 01

Venus-Jupiter Conjunction from the Philippines

Tonight will be the closest planetary pairing between Jupiter and Venus (0.3 degrees apart) after a very long period. This conjunction of the two planets is believed as one of the likeliest candidates for the 'Star of Bethlehem'. A lot of amateur and professional astronomers throughout the world have been observing these two as they get closer and closer each night. I have planned to document their displacement in the night sky however cloudy skies have been dominant as of late. Uploaded are my images taken as of last night (June 30). Read More...

Jun 24

Sunspot painting

As an astronomer, heliophysics is one of my research interests. As a visual artist, I tried to incorporate astronomy in my artworks. Here is a painting I made depicting a sunspot group. It was selected as the Solaractivity Picture of the Day for May 20. Read More...

Feb 15

Breaching the Cordilleras

The Andromeda Mobile Planetarium  since its creation in 2013 has concentrated in the Cordillera  region. The Cordillera Central Mountain Range is a massive mountain range in Central Luzon, Philippines. It encompases several provinces (Apayao, Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province) and the chartered city of Baguio. The mountainous topography makes most of the areas remote. Temperatures in the Cordillera are low and roads can be treacherous. One of the main routes we take is the Halsema Highway which is among the top 10 most dangerous roads in the world. It is not uncommon for the road to have zero... Read More...

Apr 15

Orb of Light

Glued above the sky at night Glowing orb of shining light Sweet reflection of Sun's rays Changing faces day-by-day Blemished scars of meteors fall Seen in shadowed crater walls Holds the story of time past In its surface record cast In Earth's shadow masked in blood Coat of fear, drives people mad Hide the Sun through full eclipse Fill the day in darkness bliss Pull the seas up with your tides In your light let starlight hide And high above, let ring of light Surround you in such glorious sight Read More...