Friday, February 1, 2013

Starburst in Negros Occidental

As part of the efforts to strengthen the study of space science in our country, the president of Rizal Technological University (RTU), Dr. Jesus Rodrigo F. Torres and presidents of 29 State Universities and Colleges from different part of the country have signed a memorandum of agreement to conduct stargazing and lectures in their campuses. RTU will send a group of people, composed of teachers and students under the department of Earth and Space Sciences to the 29 universities to facilitate the said activities.
STARBURST II  Stargazing in Negros Occidental.   

    The series of lectures and stargazing activities in different campuses will be named STARBURST, the brand name was first used in the celebration of the World Space Week (WSW) last October 4-10, 2012. Last January 19-20 and 21-22, 2013. RTU sent a group of teachers teaching in the department of Earth and Space Sciences and a scientist under the Balik Scientist program of DOST to the two State Colleges in Negros Occidental.

STARBURST II was divided into two parts, Part 1 was held at Carlos Hilado Memorial State Colleges (CHMSC) in January 19-20, 2013, the group from RTU was warmly greeted and welcomed by CHMSC officials, the programs for STARBURST II started at exactly 3:30 pm, at the CHMSC AVR and was attended by students from high school department, BSE major in Physical Sciences students, MAED students, high school teachers and science professors of SAS, the first part of the program were lectures delivered by Ruby-Ann B. Dela Cruz, (Introduction to Naked Eye Observations), Dr. Custer Deocaris (Astrobiology), Ryan Manuel Guido (Stars and Constellations) and Reuel Norman Marigza (Astrophotography) and ended with an open forum. Questions from inquisitive students and teachers rained after the lectures. Part 2 was the stargazing at the spacious open ground of the school, excited students and teachers and even some of the school's officials took the opportunity to look at planet Jupiter and its moons, the open cluster Pleiades, the asterisms Hyades in Taurus, Orion's “tatlong Maria” and sword, the Great Orion Nebula and stars like Betelgeuse and Sirius and etc. Many teachers and students were able able to photograph moon using their cellphones and digital camera. Clouds rolling in signaled the end of our observation.

Lectures at CHMSC....

Stargazing at CHMSC...

STARBURST II Part 2 was held at the (Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology) NONESCOST, which was a 3 hour drive from CHMSC. The program started at 3:30 pm at the NONESCOST AVR, students taking up natural science subject and teachers attended the lectures. Teachers from different High Schools went to NONESCOST campus in hopes of seeing the celestial objects through a telescope but the weather did not permit us to set up telescopes, the sky was so black covered with thick rain clouds. The group decided to set up a room to show the celestial objects via Stellarium and Celestia applications. In the morning of January 22, 2013 a telescope with a Baader filter was set up. Students and curious school staff and officials lined up and patiently waited for their turn to see sunspots for the first time. Dr. Renato Sisno, the president of NONESCOST requested the group to conduct another set of lectures for students who were not able to attend the first set of lectures the other day. Dr. Sisno have already made some arrangements for another set of lectures and stargazing activities in their campus on March hoping that they will be able to observe the celestial bodies at night.

Lectures at NONESCOST...

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