MABUHAY! Welcome to the Philippine Astronomical Society's official website.
The first astronomical organization in the Philippines.
A dynamic, harmonious, research/leisure-oriented, nonprofit, non-stock astronomical society that aims to propel astronomy education toward the achievement of scientific excellence among Filipinos. Gives free lectures, public viewings, astrocamps, out-of-town observations as public outreach programs in astronomy and astrophysics.
Newbies to astronomy are most welcome here, as are armchair stargazers and veteran skywatchers. PAS aims to promote astronomy to the Filipinos in a fun yet educational manner.
So come on in out of the cold, and bask in the warmth of your fellow skywatchers! Go ahead, take a seat, kick back, and let your hair and your guard down. Share your astronomical knowledge with the rest of your comrades, and glean more information from them in return. In this website, everyone learns from each other, and everyone is FREE to express their opinions! Because the night sky belongs to EVERYONE!
MABUHAY ANG ASTRONOMIYA SA PILIPINAS!
The Philippine Astronomical Society
PAS in a Nutshell
PAS is a "family" that plays and works together to promote an understanding and awareness of the heavens above. It binds and bonds friends and strangers alike for that common cause.
Free lectures. Free stargazings. Free astrocamps. Free astronomiya sa kalsada. Free out-of-town observations. A public outreach program in astronomy by service-oriented, dedicated members whose only reward is to hear the oooohs and aaaahs of kids, students, and the public.
The PAS Seal
The official seal of the Philippine Astronomical Society is inscribed in a circle within a larger circle, which is symbolic of the vast outer space that humanity has always been longing to explore and to understand, illustrating the concept of the quantum world within the universe.
The central figure in the seal is a reflecting telescope, symbolizing the continuous quest for scientific knowledge. In front of the focus are three stars, representing Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao - expressing the vision of entrenching firmly the science of Astronomy in the Philippines.
At the bottom of the telescope is the moon, which symbolizes Man’s first step of its exploration. The top right of this is a spiral galaxy, representing the distant universe and the cosmos, which humans seek to explore.
The rope connecting the symbols depicts the unity of common interests, hopes, and desires bound together for the advancement of Astronomy and Astrophysics in the Philippines.
PAS OUT-OF-TOWN EVENT
Where - Big Handy's Ground, Sitio Tablos, Brgy Cucumbay, Tanay, Rizal
When - May 10, 2014 (Saturday)
What - Overnight stargazing
Meet - 2:00pm Jollibee, Ground flr? Farmer's, Cubao, Facing Edsa
Transpo - Take Cogeo Gate 2 Labas jeep to Cogeo (25p), get off at Jollibee at Olalia St; take Sampaloc jeep (62p) at Antipolo City Mall to Jamboree Site (Big Handy's Ground is beside it); 10-min climb to site. Best to go as a group.
Bring - Tent, warm clothing, pack dinner/snacks/breakfast, flashlight, umbrella, raincoat (in case of rain and if you have no tent), drinking water. PAS will bring telescopes, binoculars, green laser; but you may bring your own if you want.
Deadline- Please text Hernan Dizon at 0918-463-8951 by May 3 if you are joining or not (besides confirming on FB). Ma'am May Serrano (Grounds owner) would like to know how many are coming by May 3. Their rest house has a CR that can be used.
Entrance fee - 100p per person as requested by Ma'am Serrano to pay for barangay tanods, etc.
The area is ultra-dark with no lighting at all, so this warrants the best and clearest sky condition for stargazing with zero light pollution. Please bring your flashlight though for mobility in the area.
Cell signals in that area are weak and unstable, so it's difficult to call your friends already in the site if you are coming late and separately from the group. Please be aware of this if you cannot help it but come later.
For those who will go there with their own vehicles, please do not drive to Cucumbay when it is already dark. Most likely, you will get lost because the place is really dark at night. Better drive to the area when it is still bright so you can see your routes and directions. Use the Jamboree Site as your reference point as Big Handy's Ground is right beside it.
These info all came from Hernan Dizon (PAS Events Committee Chair) who personally inspected the site and made arrangements with Mrs. Serrano for the group. Having the firsthand knowledge on the nitty-gritties of this event, please contact him at 0918-463-8951 for inquiries or further details.
SEE YOU ALL!!
The Philippine Astronomical Society March monthly meeting was held at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta.Mesa Campus last March 22 from 2 to 5pm and was hosted by the PUP Physics Society and Department of Physical Science, College of Science.
Lecture 1 was on "Introduction to Astronomy: History of Celestial Sphere, Constellation and Telescope" by Nico Mendoza
Lecture 2 was on Meteorites by Allen Yu
Below is a souvenir photo of the attendees.
PAS CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAM (in collaboration with DOT; Engr. Camilo Dacanay lecturer)
March 21-25 - Lecture on "Integrating the Science of Astronomy in Risk Reduction and Management (Part 1) at Lake Caliraya Country Club.
March 31-April 4 - Lecture on "Integrating the Science of Astronomy in Risk Reduction and Management (Part 2). DOT Office, Lumbang, Laguna.
PAS School Campus Tour at FEU - EAC PHYSICS WEEK March 17 - 21, 2014
PAS lecture on: 'Life in the Universe as We Know It" by Engr. Camilo G. Dacanay
March 20, 2014 3:00 PM to 4:40 PM at the FEU Auditorium.
The Board of Directors of the Philippine Astronomical Society, Inc. was invited by FOX TV for a cocktail party and pilot launching of the first episode of the TV series, COSMOS: A Space-Time Odyssey", by the National Geographic. Hosted by the Mind Museum, guests were treated with sumptuous cocktails by Bizu, decadent chocolate boxes by Villa Conte and a National Geographic sling bag.
The first episode was very well written with mind-blowing graphics and has been hosted by one of our favorite astronomers, Neil De Grasse Tyson!
PAS was able to obtain a copy of the first episode also courtesy of Fox TV and we will be airing this soon in one of our monthly meetings after securing permissions. — Jennifer Gutierrez at The Mind Museum. March 7, 2014
Venue: Ateneo De Manila University, Quezon City
Date & Time: December 14, 2013, 3:00PM – December 15, 2013, 6:00AM
This event is open to all public and free of charge. This is an invitation to all astronomy- and astrophysics-enthusiasts. Join us as we explore cosmic ray particles and microwave remote sensing, and together let us observe the night sky for the Geminid meteor shower.
3:00 pm – 3:15 pm Registration
Venue: Conference Room, Social Science Building, ADMU
3:15 pm – 4:00 pm Ghost Particles from Outer Space
by Engr. Camilo Dacanay
Between high energy physics and astrophysics, the study of cosmic ray particles remained offshore. The study of this entity has been recently revitalized partly due to advances in experimental techniques, discoveries of structure in its spectrum, and most of all, the decay-long debate in scientific community on its major role as the major factor of climate change. This is part 1 of the 3 part series lectures dedicated to students in physics, astronomy, meteorology, environmental science and science enthusiasts.
4:00 pm – 4:45 pm Lunar Surface Characterization and its Water-Ice Deposits Using Radar Polarimetry
by Ms. Margie Parinas
Water particles cannot be produced on the Lunar environment but may originate from the debris of comets or meteorites or even from solar wind. This leads to the creation of cold traps.The introduction of the radar polarimetry gives the observers an opportunity to characterize the surface’s slope, directionality and dielectric constant. Using Circular Polarization Ratio, and m-chi decomposition, this study aims to characterize the Lunar surface using MiniSAR circular polarization.
4:45 pm – 5:00 pm Socialization
8:00 pm – 6:00 am Geminids Observation and PAS Christmas Party
Venue: Roof deck, Manila Observatory, ADMU
PAS annual observation for the Geminid meteor shower has been a tradition for the PASers to observe the night sky together as we celebrate our Christmas party. It’s a potluck event and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring their jackets/blankets, mats, and insect repellant for the observation.
Comet ISON is brightening at an amazing rate! It is now inside the orbit of Venus as it approaches closer to the Sun.
One of the PAS founders of Philippine Astronomical Society, California State Senator Phillip Wyman and his colleagues, Richard Skaggs (a producer of EPCOT Center) and Michael Shane (a NASA aeronautical scientist) visited with PAS last November 24.
They were here in the Philippines primarily to help the Typhoon Yolanda victims at Leyte and Samar. Senator Wyman, however, took the opportunity to meet with his co-founders Fr. Victor Badillo and Maximo Sacro, Jr. and with the PAS officers and members.
A PAS special meeting was held at the National Museum Planetarium in his honor, capped by a fancy dinner at a Chinese Restaurant in Harbor Square after the planetarium show.
October 22 - 24, 2013
at Diamond Hotel, Manila
Invitation from the Department of Tourism
TENTATIVE PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES
October 22, 2013
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Module 2- Integrating Science into Risk Reduction
· Understanding Geologic Activities
· Early Warning System
· Climate Change
Engr. Camilo Dacanay
Philippine Astronomical Society
INVITATION TO THE WORLD TOURISM DAY by Abigail Ruth Pilongo
Tourism Like You’ve Never Known UP Diliman, Quezon City –Would you believe that TOURISM can literally be MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE? More than the sight-seeing, food tripping, and historical tours, INTUX Events cooked up an upcoming event that will definitely give a bizarre twist to today's tourism which buffs, cynics and kibitzers alike will find too hard to resist!
Listen to an experienced and successful travel consultant of more than 40 years in the industry, Mr. Bienvenido Claravall, as he gives an overview of the three mind-boggling topics of the night to pique your curiosity.
Take a plunge into the mysterious depths of the marine world to unravel both its matchless beauty and countless bounty with Atty. Donn Rico Kapunan, a certified Open Water Scuba Diver of the world’s most respected, largest non-profit diver training organization - The National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI).
From UNDERWATER, it will definitely be a taste of "truth stranger than fiction" when you fly out of space with the latest in ASTRONOMICAL TOURISM with Engr. Milo Dacanay, the Chairman of the Board of the first astronomical organization in the Philippines - Philippine Astronomical Society.
From outer space, take a MYSTICAL tour of the Philippines from the country’s foremost authority on inner mind development, creative and intuitive management, paranormal phenomena, and Philippine mysticism, Mr. Jimmy Licauco.
Afterwards, enjoy an evening of stargazing with the Philippine Astronomical Society and learn more about various constellations. See our Milky Way’s nearest neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Pleiades’ open cluster of stars rising to the East; Ursa Minor, Elephant’s Trunk nebula, double clusters of stars to the North; the Constellation Sagittarius where globular clusters of stars older than our galaxy abound and where the centre of our Milky Way is beaming, and many more!
Let us take you to a one of a kind, 4-dimensional journey of the depths and the heights and the mystical world, and you will surely agree that it's both More REAL & SURREAL Fun in the Philippines!
Like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/
Almost 100 participants braved the PAGASA warnings of possible strong winds and rains from Typhoon Labuyo and trooped to the Manila Observatory roof deck of Ateneo de Manila University on the night of August 10 to wee hours on August 11 to join the PAS-conducted 2013 Perseid meteor shower observation held for the public. Luckily, the event was blessed with not a perfect sky but with no rains and no winds.
The guests were from the Philippine Normal University, University of Santo Thomas, University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, League of Ateneo Physicists, Rizal Technological University, ART Plus/Mountain Climbers Alliance of the Philippines, the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives, and others.
Not too many meteors were seen, but the presence of the "indefatigable" Prof.Edmund Rosales, PASers Ed von de Lelis (Observation Committee Chair) and other officers Hernan Dizon, Margie Parinas, Engr. Dacanay, Ian Allas made this event not only well-attended but a very successful and highly educational overnight astronomical activity for everyone.
Despite the sky's on and off cloudiness, the group was able to observe more than a dozen Perseids and several sporadic meteors, Jupiter and its 4 Galilean satellites, Mars, Albireo, the double star in Cygnus, Orion nebula and several man-made satellites.
When the season is predominantly cloudy, an astronomer will jump at even a quick patch of starry sky which is like a welcomed and much needed breath of fresh air. Last night was such the case for this deprived astroimager. All the weather allowed was a quick 15 minutes of dark clear sky for me to capture as much light from M20 the Trifid Nebula as possible, before closing in and bringing rain again. The nebula is in Sagittarius inhabiting the dense central part of our own Milky Way galaxy. It is a star-forming stellar nursery similar to M42 in Orion. Here is my catch for the night.
Clear sky finally graced the monsoon season last night and I could not resist to at least attempt a quick image of a bright and easy to find target. I swept the dark sky with binoculars and was quickly attracted to the glow of the Milky Way and the obvious nebulosity of the Lagoon Nebula, M8 in Sagittarius. I decided to use an uncooled Nikon D7000 color camera partly to test its high ISO capabilities and partly to make sure I would be able to still bag an image even if clouds suddenly got in the way, which was simply too risky if I used a monochrome camera requiring four filters to go through. The result of my test is a 2-minute exposure of M8 at ISO6400.
The constellation Virgo holds some of the finest collection of galaxies in the night sky with configurations that makes one marvel at the varying shapes of gravitationally interacting stellar material in the universe. It is not uncommon to find two galaxies interacting together. However, it is not too common to find four interacting galaxies close enough for the scrutiny of amateur telescopes. The interacting group of galaxies NGC 4410, NGC 4410b, IC790, VCC934, and VCC914, a possible fifth interacting galaxy, is one such example found in the upper center of this six-hour image. NGC4410 is a LINER-type galaxy with an active high energy nucleus believed to be a result of accretion of mass by a super-massive black hole at its center. The two larger spiral galaxies below are NGC4411 and NGC4411b.
Imaged at PAGASA Astronomical Observatory, UP, Diliman, Quezon City
The week-long celebration of the National Astronomy Week is over.
I am very thankful and fulfilled for this wonderful experience! This event had contributed a lot in making a difference in the various aspects of my life- it transformed me to someone I never used to be and at the same time it also strengthened my relationship with my co-members.
For me, PAS is not just an organization...it's a FAMILY. Yes, we have our share of eccentricities and disagreements, but the thing is - these help us become more united and more flexible. I'm really proud that I became part of PAS, and I am looking forward to more Astronomical events! Greater things are yet to come!!!
"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." -Henry Ford
CONGRATULATIONS, PHILIPPINE ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY!!!
Some of the Opening Day participants and guests pose for the souvenir group photo in front of the UST Main Building. (Unfortunately, many have left before and after the Awarding Ceremony.) Please check attached link below for more pictures during hte Opening Day. Winners of the different contests and raffle prizes will be posted soon.
The Philippine Astronomical Society will celebrate this year's National Astronomy Week on February 16-23 to be held at the University of Santo Thomas (UST) campus, in collaboration with the UST College of Science and the Samahang Mag-aaral ng Pisika.This year's NAW theme is "Exploring Outer Space, Our Biosphere and Their Interconnections."
Elementary, high school, and college students from all over Metro Manila will compete in different contests: photo-essay (high school); essay-writing (elementary and high school); astro-quiz (high school and college); poster-making (elementary and high school). The contest winners will receive cash awards, trophies, medals, and certificates of appreciation.
The Philippine Astronomical Society will have a medical team to provide immediate assistance to participants, guests, and the public during the Opening Day of the National Astronomy Week on February 16. The medical team is composed of Dr. Clea Mamaril-Serrano, Dr. Lorie Garcia, and Dr. Marissa Resulta.
Please check all other NAW 2013 details in the NAW page of this web for the Program of Activities, UST floor plan for the contests, lectures, etc.
The weeklong PAS NAW celebration is open to the public, and it's free!
Come watch the scientifically and artistically gifted young students compete in this once-a year celebration of astronomy as as a science discipline. (Some photos from NAW 2011 below)
Please check link for this - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/brighter-than-a-full-moon-the-biggest-star-of-2013-could-be-ison--the-comet-of-the-century-8431443.html.
Philippine Astronomical Society on Huntahan: Interpretasyon sa Mayan Calendar
Date posted: Dec 20, 2012 9:48am
A new celestial wonder has stolen the title of most distant object ever seen in the universe, astronomers report.
The new record holder is the galaxy MACS0647-JD, which is about 13.3 billion light-years away. The universe itself is only 13.7 billion years old, so this galaxy's light has been traveling toward us for almost the whole history of space and time.
Astronomers spotted the object using NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, with the aid of a naturally occurring cosmic zoom lens as well. This lens is a huge cluster of galaxies whose collective gravity warps space-time, producing what's called a gravitational lens. As the distant galaxy's light traveled through this lens on its way to Earth, it was magnified.
The galaxy MACS0647-JD (inset) appears very young and is only a fraction of the size of our own Milky Way. The galaxy is about 13.3 billion light-years from Earth, the farthest galaxy yet known, and formed 420 million years after the Big Bang. Image taken by Hubble Space Telescope on Nov. 29, 2011, and released Nov. 15, 2012.
CREDIT: NASA, ESA, and M. Postman and D. Coe (STScI) and CLASH Team
The Taurid meteors, sometimes called the "Halloween fireballs," show up each year between mid-October and mid-November, but Nov. 5 to 12 will likely be the best time to look for them this year, based on their peak of activity and the effect of moonlight on viewing conditions.
Initially, on Nov. 5 the moon will be very bright in the gibbous phase, but it will diminish in brightness with each passing night. Before the moon rises — around 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 5, and about 55 minutes later on subsequent nights — some 10 to 15 meteors may appear per hour. They are often yellowish-orange and, as meteors go, appear to move rather slowly.
The name of this meteor shower comes from the way they seem to radiate from the constellation Taurus, the Bull, which sits low in the east a couple of hours after sundown and is almost directly overhead by around 1:30 a.m. local time.
Meteors, popularly referred to as "shooting stars," are generated when debris enters and burns up in Earth's atmosphere. In the case of the Taurids, they are attributed to debris left behind by
Encke's Comet, or perhaps by a much larger comet, which, upon disintegrating, left Encke and a lot of other rubble in its wake.
Indeed, the Taurid debris stream contains noticeably larger fragments than those shed by other comets, which is why in certain years — and 2012 is predicted to be one — this rather elderly meteor stream occasionally delivers a few unusually bright meteors known as "fireballs." [Amazing Perseid Meteor Shower Photos of 2012]
Two streams for the price of one
The Taurids are actually divided into the Northern Taurids and the Southern Taurids.
This is an example of what happens to a meteor stream when it grows old. Even at the beginning, the particles could not have been moving in exactly the same orbit as their parent comet; their slight divergence accumulates with time.
Meanwhile the sun is not the only body gravitationally controlling the particles' orbits; the planets are having subtle effects on the stream as well. As the positions of the planets are constantly changing, the particles pass nearer to them on some revolutions than others, diverting parts of the stream, fanning it out and splitting it. Ultimately, what was originally one stream diffuses into a cloud of minor streams and isolated particles in individual orbits, crossing Earth's orbit at yet more widely scattered times of the year and coming from more scattered directions until they are entirely stirred into the general haze of dust in the solar system.
Dr. Victor Clube, an English astrophysicistand an expert on comets and cosmology, indicated back in 1992 that the Taurid meteor stream contains perhaps a half a dozen full-size asteroids whose orbits place them squarely in the stream.
Clube and his colleagues argue that the Taurids' range of orbits indicates they were all shed by a huge comet, originally 100 miles across or more, that entered the inner solar system some 20,000 years ago. By 10,000 years ago it was parched and brittle. Encke's Comet might actually be the biggest leftover chunk of the parent comet.
Another fireball year?
Encke's has the shortest known orbital period for a comet, taking only 3.3 years to make one complete trip around the sun. Meteor expert David Asher has also discovered that Earth can periodically encounter swarms of larger particles in certain years, and 2012 is predicted to be one of those years.
Maximum rates for the southern branch occur near Nov. 5, while the northern branch peaks near Nov. 12. This year the moon is somewhat unfavorable during the first week of November, but the northern Taurids peak the day before new moon when the sky will be dark.
The meteor showers' two radiants (the points where meteors appear to originate in the sky) lie just south of the Pleiades star cluster. During the next couple of weeks, if you see a bright, slightly tinted orange meteor sliding rather lazily away from that famous little smudge of stars, you can feel sure it is a Taurid.
The year 2005 was a swarm year, with many exceptional fireballs seen, especially along the U.S. East Coast on Halloween evening (Oct. 31), when fireballs as bright as the full moon were witnessed.
Will 2012 offer a repeat performance? Only by going out and viewing this display will we know for sure!
Editor's note: If you snap an amazing photo of the 2012 Taurid meteor shower and want to share it with SPACE.com, send photos, comments and location info to SPACE.com managing editor Tariq Malik at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for The New York Times and other publications, and he is also an on-camera meteorologist for News 12 Westchester, New York.
PAS held an overnight Board planning session at Subic, Pampanga last October 12-13, 2012 in preparation for the National Astronomy Week 2013 and for a calendar planning of 2013 activities.
All Board members were present - Ian Allas, Hernan Dizon, Camilo Dacanay, Ed Von Delelis, Victoria Evarretta, Jenny Gutierrez, Jake Irlandez, Leo Manosca, Margie Parinas, Josuel Racca, and Ronald Tanco. The session was also graced by the presence of Bam Sachez (Membership Committee Chair) and Lamer Morales.
Please see all other pictures in the Subic Trip album at the Photo Gallery Section.
Introduction (see Videos page for more)
It happens only once in a lifetime. The next is in 2117. So who would miss a lifetime event like the Venus Transit of June 6, 2012. It has been most awaited for, most researched on, most wrote about, and most planned for all over the world.
What Is the Transit?
A transit is when one object in the sky passes in front of another. In this case, we’ll see Venus move across the Sun’s face. Think of it as a mini-eclipse.
Venus orbits the Sun closer in than we do, taking about 225 days to circle it once. We don’t see a transit every time, though, because its orbit is tilted slightly (by about 3°) to the Earth’s, so
The Gethsemane Prayer at Montalban, Rizal became the venue for the PAS April monthly meeting, public outreach stargazing, and Lyrid Meteor observation held on April-22, 2012.
Please check the website's Photo Gallery for the album of photos re this event. Below is also the Facebook link for the same, which includes the photo captions.
Supermoon, May 5, 2012,: 7:48:48, 99.3 Full Moon ("moontaged" with passing clouds and clear sky). Taken at Muntinlupa City, Philippines.
Saturn is just a week away from opposition and has grown to 19 arc seconds at the equator. Sharp details were elusive with mediocre seeing but large features are nonetheless captured. The rings continue to tilt toward Earth.
Photo below by Anthony Urbano taken at PAGASA Observatory March 15, 2012.
Photo above by Margie Parinas on February 22 taken at De La Salle University after the NAW Symposium.
Venus and Jupiter have been dancing toward each other in the night sky for months, and they'll finally come together this week in a dazzling show for skywatchers.
Beginning tonight (March 12), the two brightest planets in the sky will be so close together that you'll be able to block both of them out with a few fingers held at arm's length. The celestial action peaks Thursday (March 15), when Venus and Jupiter line up in what's known as a planetary conjunction.
Venus-Jupiter conjunctions are fairly special events, occurring roughly every 13 months. And this one should be the best conjunction for several years to come for viewers in the Northern Hemisphere, experts say, because the two planets will be visible for so long in the evening sky. At mid-northern latitudes on Thursday, the pair should blaze bright over the western horizon for about four hours after sunset.
Though Jupiter is about 11 times wider than the roughly Earth-size Venus, Venus shines much more brightly than the gas giant from our perspective — about eight times more brightly this week, in fact. [Video: Jupiter & Venus Loom Large] (Photo above by Margie Parinas, PAS)
This year's NAW whole-week celebration on February 18-25 was a blast!
The Philippine Astronomical Society together with the National Museum Planetarium, Samahang Mag-aaral sa Pagpapaunlad ng Pisika, NIDO Science Discovery Center, D Great Rovers, and Sky Explore pooled resources to fuse the National Astronomy Week celebration into a big bang.
Please check the Photo Gallery section for six different albums of pictures during the Opening Day Program/contests on February 18 at the Planetarium, Public Symposium at De La Salle University on February 22 sponsored by the DLSU Physics Society, and the Closing Program on February 25 at NIDO Science Discovery Center.
Details to follow. Results of all contests, the master list of participants, etc. will soon be posted at the NAW 2012 page. Certificates of appreciation/participation for all schools and participants will similarly be delivered to the respective participating schools as soon as available. (Photo below by Brian Joseph)
Comet Garradd C 2009 P1 is just a few days from closest approach to Earth. It glows at magnitude 7 and is easy to detect in a pair of 10x50 binoculars. The comet is quite extensive and easily spans over two degrees of sky or four full moon widths. (Imaged March 1, 2012)
NGC 474 is a classic shell galaxy interacting with its smaller neighbor NGC 470. This strikingly unusual galaxy is also listed as ARP 227 in Halton Arp's Catalog of Peculiar Galaxies.
I was inspired to attempt imaging it after discovering an earlier image by Mischa Schrimer http://www.astro.uni-bonn.de/~mischa/gallery_ccd/ngc474.html. The evolution and mechanics of galaxy shells is well expounded on in the excellent work of Ken Crawford in collaboration with professional astronomers http://imagingdeepsky.com/Galaxies/NGC7600/NGC7600.htm.
This is the latest from the most expensive and largest sub-millimeter telescope located 16,000 feet high in the driest and clearest observing site on the planet. Check link below.