Sunday, February 23, 2014

Second Day of the First National Astronomy Convention

Barranta, J.
Held at the Plenary Hall of the ITC Building, Rizal Technological University on the 21st of February, 2014, the second day of the First National Astronomy Convention started at 8:00 a.m. with a lecture about solar observation by Mr. Norman Marigza, a faculty member of the RTU Department of Earth and Space Sciences and head of the Solar Observation Program of the said department. He talked about the basics in observing the Sun, the closest star from Earth. After the lecture, the honoured guests and participants were led to the RTU quadrangle to have an actual experience on solar observation. 

Mr. Norman Marigza, Head of RTU-DESS Solar Observation Program

Then, it was followed by Dr. Reinabelle Reyes, a Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics fellow, who did an interesting talk about the phenomenon called gravitational lensing. Gravitational lensing is caused by any object which gravity is capable of bending light. The mysterious component of the Universe called Dark Matter can be detected thanks to gravitational lensing.

Dr. Reinabelle Reyes on her lecture about gravitational lensing

The lecture that followed was about planetary system dynamics, done by Dr. Thijs Kouwenhoven, a research professor at the Kavli Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University. He discussed the mysteries behind planetary formation and dynamics, complete with some n-body simulations. 

Dr. Thijs Kouwenhoven, professor at KIAA, Peking University

Afterwards, Mr. Christopher Go discussed astronomical image acquisition and processing. He gave important tips on how to capture outstanding astronomical photos.

Asronomical Images Acquisition/Processing by Mr. Christopher Go

Mr. Go was then followed by Mr. Emanuel Sungging, a researcher at Lapan, Pusan Sains Antariska (Center for Space Science) in Bandung, Indonesia. Mr. Sungging’s talk was about space weather—its causes and consequences on our planet. Also, he showed the advances of Indonesia in space weather research.

Mr. Emanuel Sungging, researcher at Lapan, Pusan Sains Antariska, Indonesia

             Lastly, Dr. Dading Nugroho, a researcher at the Bosscha Observatory, Jawa Barat, Indonesia, discussed points on active galactic nuclei, an interesting subject that is recently getting more attention in areas of research.

Dr. Dading Nugroho, researcher at Bosscha Observatory, West Java, Indonesia

             After the lectures was the awarding of certificates to the guests and participants of the event, followed by the closing remarks by Dr. Thelma Ramirez, Director of the Research and Development Center of RTU.

Dr. Ramirez delivering her closing remarks
             The convention is a wake up call to let astronomy further develop and be exposed in this country. It also serves as RTU DESS' important stepping stone in its mission to spread astronomy here in the Philippines.

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