Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My stay in RTU...

My stay in RTU was definitely one of those experiences I’d always treasure and go back to. Although I have been here for only one and a half months, I have learned so many things that opened my eyes to a broader view and understanding of Astronomy.  To be honest, when I first contacted RTU about the internship, I didn’t know what to expect. Yes, I’ll be spending my time in an office, gathering and interpreting data, but those were the only things I was sure of. But being in an internship is more than that—it’s about the work, the people, your contribution, and of course, the things you’ll take with you after the immersion. RTU might have been a completely different environment for me but the people here superbly made me feel at home.
Compared to the research I’ve been doing in University of Michigan, the research we’re doing here is more observational. Specifically, we catalog the sun’s activities by taking note of its sunspot groups and their types. I have never seen a more religious group of people when it comes to doing a task: In the morning or at noon, we’d bring down the telescope and take probably six or more pictures of the sun. Every chance that we get, we do this routine even if we get all sweaty and tired (especially for the people carrying the telescope down to the field and up again to the telescope room). My mentor even taught me how to set-up a telescope and he really gave me a lot of opportunities to take a more hands-on approach to Astronomy by doing observations.

They give this much support to me but it doesn’t compare to how supportive they are of their students and their activities to promote Astronomy. The teachers and students go to other schools and do stargazing to spread Astronomy awareness. In fact, we recently went to Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges to do stargazing for the school’s anniversary. I was happily a part of this and I must say, nothing could make me happier than seeing people who have no or little background in Astronomy get so interested and ask so many questions. My teachers even let me conduct a lecture on Solar Observation and even if it was my first time (I did extremely badly at it), they still gave me a pat on the back. They were very generous that they let me partake in their Solar Observation Program even if I was just new. Such is their belief in the people who say that they want Astronomy to progress in the Philippines. The faculty lets the students themselves to operate the telescopes and organize activities—everything for people to know the importance of Astronomy in our lives.

By the end of my internship, I realized a lot of things that no other school could have taught me. Rizal Technological University is the only school in the Philippines that offers Bachelor’s Degree on Astronomy and that gives me a lot of hope. The Philippines may be a long way from being front liners in this field but someone or something had to start the race or our dreams to someday contribute a lot to Astronomy would never happen. The department may be new but its people had been moving fast, contacting other organizations, going to seminars even out of the country, to give its students a better picture of Astronomy today. I really admire how The Department of Earth and Space Sciences stands tall amidst all the challenges it faces and amidst its being the first and only department to offer undergraduate studies in Astronomy. And with all these realizations and wonderful memories, I’ll definitely be leaving the country on a happy note, maybe even wanting to go back and do this amazing one and a half months all over again. Thank you so much, my RTU-DESS family! 

- Andreia Jessica Carrillo

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Congratulations! Variable Star Observer

Congratulations to Sir Angelito Sing (MS-Astro, RTU) for over 1,000 logged visual observations of variable stars for the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) International Database.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Solar Observation at Sacrepante St., Mandaluyong City

The 5th year BS-Astronomy Technology students under the subject Astronomy Education being advised by Ms. Ruby Dela Cruz, are required to conduct public observations and lectures to increase the knowledge and awareness of the people regarding astronomy. In this observation we were accompanied by Mr. Frank Kelvin Martinez.
We did a free public solar observation at Sacrepante st. Mandaluyong City on the date of February 19, 2013 from 1:00-2:00pm for the people who were just passing by that street. We only had 25 people who participated in the observation. Most of the participants were RTU students but we still had a variety of people who joined the observation. Some people were not interested and just kept on moving, probably because they were just too busy or didn’t care too much about astronomy. We brought with us the Newtonian 8” reflecting telescope and glass filter. This observation was done in part celebration of National Astronomy Week. We tried to be as approachable as possible to further make the astronomy awareness more popular with the public.
Fig. 1 Lola viewing the Sun for the first time

Fig. 2 Prof. Frank Kelvin Martinez helping us entertain the participants

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Lightning and Clouds

lightning and thunderstorm are very active now a days here in the Philippines, we keep updating ourselves to be aware of the thunderstorm warning from PAGASA (PAGASA twitter account). we use this chance to photograph lightning in our places. Lightning shows are awesome to watch but also scary. Patience and Timing is the most important while taking images of the lightning.

Images of Ms. Ruby Dela Cruz

Images of Margareth Custodio

Starburst 6: Camarines Sur Polytechnical College

Another successful Starburst (stargazing), this time in Camarines Sur Polytechnic College. The CSPC is the 4th SUC that RTU astronomy team has visited since the signing of Memorandum of Agreement of the 29 State Universities and Colleges (including RTU) from different provinces in the Philippines, the SUCs' presidents agreed with Dr. Jesus Rodrigo F. Torres (president of the RTU) to bring astronomy closer to Filipinos by conducting lectures, stargazing and researches in their respective State Universities and Colleges.
RTU Astronomy Team brought its 11th starburst to CSPC located in Nabua, Camarines Sur, Bicol. The campus is a 10 hour land travel from Manila; the group consisted of 13 BS Astronomy students, an intern from the University of Michigan, 3 teachers and the very supportive Vice President for Student Services. The starburst in CSPC took place in June 26, 2013 in time with the CSPC's pearl anniversary. Early that day the telescopes were exhibited in the auditorium lobby, the exhibit caught the attention of students and faculty, the BS Astronomy students who manned the exhibit entertained many questions from curious students and faculty and invited them to join the lectures and stargazing prepared by the team. The program started at exactly 3:00 PM, the lecture about Stars and Constellation was delivered by Manuel Ryan Guido, which was immediately followed by Telescopes and Astrophotography of Reuel Norman Marigza. Jennifer Sotelo broke the ice among the audience with a short game before she talked about Meteoroids, Meteor, and Meteorites. The multi-talented intern from the University Michigan, Andreia Carillo amazed the audience with a song number before discussing Solar Observation. Right after the lectures, the Dos and Donts during stargazing was discussed by Jeroh Histario.
At 6:00 PM the telescopes were set up in the vast open field of the campus. More students of CSPC came, there were also some students from nearby high schools and elementary schools. A planetarium show was presented by Joana Marie Tabios using Celestia and Stellarium, they were shown interesting objects visible that night. Between 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM students were awed by the celestial objects form the constellations of Lyra, Sagittarius and Scorpius they also witnessed the jewel of the night sky, Saturn. Luckily the place was dark enough for the Milky Way to be seen; "It's like a patch of cloud that never moves" said one student who realized for the first time what he has been observing during clear nights. With the instructions of Margareth Custodio, a CSPC's faculty member with a DSLR camera captured the Milky Way at 10 pm the team decided to call it a night, clouds rolled in as the moon rises. 
The RTU Astronomy Team would like to thank Dr. Dulce Atian for inviting us for the warm welcome and pleasant stay in CSPC. To Dr. Salvacion Pachejo for the support and appreciation on what we do. And to Dr. Jesus Rodrigo Torres who makes all of our stargazing and astronomy outreach happen.

June 26, 2013
Nabua, Camarines Sur
State Univerity and Colleges:
Camarines Sur Polytechnic College
SUC’s President:
Dr. Dulce F. Atian
Approximately 3000
The RTU Astronomy Team:
Frank Batin
Janjan Abel
Jonah Micah Inguito
Jeniffer Sotelo
Jerald De Leon
Jerome Felicidario
Joshua Guda
Joana Marie Tabios
Julie Anne Delada
Michael Figeroa
Margareth Custodio
Reynan Campana
Rose Ann Bautista

Reuel Norman Marigza
Ruby Dela Cruz
Ryan Manuel Guido

Vice President for Students' Services:
Dr. Salvacion Pachejo

Ruby Dela Cruz