The August 17 2008 Partial Lunar Eclipse
The U.P. Astronomical Society had their observation of the partial lunar eclipse at the Loyola School of Theology in Ateneo De Manila University last August 17, 2008.
The venue was definitely a vantage point. The three-level observation deck gave us a full view of the sky. Of course, we decided to set up our equipment and do our observation at the highest level.
While waiting for the skies to clear up, the Education and Research Cluster and the Observation and Instrumentation Cluster gave a brief lecture about the Lunar Eclipse and how to observe it.
At around 2:00 am, the thick clouds started to clear up and it was about time to get ready with the lunar eclipse observation.
The sky while watching for the eclipse for three hours offered a lot of surprises. At around 2:30 to 3:00 am, it was covered with cirrus clouds and the moon was eventually surrounded by a semicircular halo at first and later by a colorful corona. There were two different atmospheric phenomena happening at the same time. It was really amazing. Unfortunately, we failed to image it.
Members were also oriented by Mr. Edward Bornilla Jr. about the visible constellations – Cassiopeia, Perseus, Auriga, Taurus, Pegasus, Andromeda, and Orion – at 3:00 to 4:00 am.
In addition, deep sky objects like Pleiades and Orion nebula were viewed using binoculars and telescope.
An hour before the maximum eclipse, members were excited by the sight of meteors. We traced back the path of the meteors and all appeared to radiate in the constellation Perseus. It was the Perseids!
On the other hand, while others are lying at their back and enjoying the celestial show, the Astro-Imaging Group (AIG) together with Mr. Paul Atchong Hilario took images of the moon through a telescope for an experiment (check the results here). They took pictures every ten minutes starting at 2:20 am until the maximum eclipse at 5:10 am.
Here are some of their pictures taken with a digital camera through an Astroscan telescope:
The shadow of the eclipse became discernible to the naked eye at around 3:30 am. When seen through the telescope, the shadow was hardly seen until it showed a reddish hue at around 4:00 am.
Despite the poor weather conditions , the observation went well and the U.P. Astrosoc members definitely had a great time.
I would like to extend my gratitude to the organizers, most especially to the officers of the organization. It was indeed an event to remember :).
More observations to come, UP Astrosoc!
Ad Astra Per Aspera! 🙂