Chasing Time

August 29, 2008

Quezon City, Philippines

4:00 am – 5:18 am

The Thursday night observation with the U.P. Astrosoc kept my adrenaline active the whole night until the next morning.

I wanted to observe more and abuse the “rare” clarity of the sky. The unpredictability of the weather these days made me think that a clear sky was a miracle. For this reason, I decided to check Stellarium and saw that at 4:00 am, the thin waning crescent moon would be near the Beehive Cluster (located in Cancer) and that both will rise in the east.

I went up to our roof deck and stared in awe as my eyes navigated the myriad of stars shining down on me. The night sky was still clear – a lot clearer than the previous night. I couldn’t move nor speak out of amazement. It was too unbelievable. I just stood there with my head oriented towards the eastern sky.  The constellations visible were Orion & Canis Major near the ABS-CBN tower (I was glad that at this time, the tower lights were off), Taurus, Auriga, Perseus, Canis Minor, and Gemini. It took me about 5 minutes to put myself together and set up my equipment for an hour observation.

While waiting for the moon to appear, I took images of the constellations using my digital camera. I love doing this even though I’ve pictured the stars several times already.

Orion Constellation

Orion Constellation

Orion and Taurus

Orion and Taurus

Gemini, Auriga and Orion

Gemini, Auriga and Orion

I just love those pinpoints of light. As a matter of fact, the lights coming from the stars have travelled a long long way just to reach my eyes hahaha! Moreover, looking at them through a telescope was like going back in time :D. Thus, I consider telescopes as time machines 😀. I was actually seeing light coming from celestial objects millions of years ago. Cool huh?

The thin crescent moon appeared around 4:40 am and I started to get pictures of it too. As soon as I finished, I immediately shifted my attention to the Beehive cluster. I always wanted to get an image of it but there was not enough time – the sun was already rising. I changed my plan and pointed my telescope to Orion nebula which was now high in the southeast. Somehow, I was amazed at how prominent the pinkish glow coming from this object was despite the brightening sky.

Rising Crescent Moon

Rising Crescent Moon

Morning Crescent

Morning Crescent

As I’ve said to my previous entries, I love a challenge when it comes to astronomy. I dared to take a picture of the Orion nebula (even though I had very few minutes left) using only a digital camera through my Astroscan telescope and holding it for 17 seconds. My hands should be steady as much as possible or a slight movement will surely distort the resulting image. I did this five times and wished that I could get a good image before sunrise. Afterwards, I checked my shots and I was surprised with one picture. The image wasn’t in good condition but I considered it somehow a decent picture of the Orion nebula (M42) or M43. Ah, another remembrance.

Orion Nebula (M42) or M43?

Orion Nebula (M42) or M43?

I ended my observation by taking pictures of the golden colored clouds near the eastern horizon.

Airplane, Clouds and Twilight

Airplane, Clouds and Twilight

Ad Astra Per Aspera!

~ by Stella's Gaze on September 3, 2008.

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