Officially rainy and Jupiter setting

As of yesterday, PAG-ASA has announced the start of the southwest monsoon. This only means that the rainy season is already upon us, and I can now wear my boots again! This also means not using lot of leather bags. While I had a good experience with the Collonil Waterstop spray, it was just too costly. The bottle only lasted for about a month, with the rotation that I do.

To welcome the rainy season (that just seem wrong), I used a canvas bag with minimal leather parts.

Gucci in black canvas and leather tote with silver hardware, Doc Martens 8-hole boots

The silver hardware is reminiscent of the Gucci Jackie bags

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Mon and Moon!

March 17 and I can finally say: HAPPY 28th BIRTHDAY MON! =D I was in the rooftop, with Mon, JB and my mother, testing my new telescope when the clock struck 12:00 AM! I had a hard time adjusting with the telescope, though, as the image was expectedly different than the other telescope. Newtonian telescopes produce images that are upside down, so it was difficult for me to deal with it on my first try. Unlike the other refractor, which produces images backwards, this Newtonian is not ideal for terrestrial use. LOL

Almost twelve hours after, I was woken up by JB because we were to eat our lunch. I was originally to help Mon with preparing lunch for today, but he did not bother waking me up at all. We bought a pack of frozen cream dory and other ingredients from Trinoma’s supermarket last night. Mon had fancied another bout of MasterChef moment and made a very nice meal for us. I especially loved the honey and lemon sauce on the cream dory, as well as the lychee in the jelly. He eventually left after lunch because he also had to spend time with his family on his birthday. =D

What the birthday boy cooked for my family - Cream Dory, buttered vegetabes, lychee jelly and the healthiest rice


It was difficult to constantly bring the tripod of the telescope up to the rooftop, given the heavy counterweight, so the best solution I came up with was just to leave it in one corner. I would just remove the telescope tube, which wasn’t heavy at all. Thirty minutes before sunset, JB and I prepared our telescopes and cameras, hoping to get at least a momentary view of Comet PANSTARRS, but to no avail. Good thing that the Moon was visible to the northwest, near Jupiter and I was happy to point my telescope to these two celestial objects.

My new telescope - a Celestron PowerSeeker 127 EQ

Of course, I also tried imaging the Moon with my point and shoot camera and I was delighted with the result. My camera, though, can’t capture the same beautiful thing seen from the telescope as the Moon’s details were more breathtaking as viewed from the eyepiece. I first tried using the 25mm eyepiece (originally from the Meade telescope), then the other 9mm. The picture below was seen through the 25mm one.

First Moon photo from my Celestron PowerSeeker 127 EQ - 03172013 18h58 PHT

I also looked at Jupiter and it was beyond words! Given the bigger mirror of the Celestron, I was able to see Jupiter’s cloud bands as well as the Great Red Spot! With the Meade 70mm, I can barely discern these details and I usually half-guess whether I was seeing them. But using this 127mm, there was no mistaking the difference in the colors of the bands because of the better contrast. I attempted to image Jupiter but I can no longer push my point-and-shoot’s capabilities. All I got was a white blob with four dots (the Galilean moons). The next thing I might do is just purchase a CCD webcam and modify it for astrophotography because I don’t have enough budget for an SLR. LOL

Before wrapping up (because I had to eat dinner and take photos of things I will be listing on Ebay), I  turned my telescope to Orion and almost cried when I saw the Orion Nebula. Again, unlike my other telescope, I just saw a faint haze of light and cloud, which was the nebula. But with this new telescope, I was able to see a much better detail of the clouds and even distinctly see the ‘trapezium cluster’ of four stars! I’m still amazed of the Orion Nebula but I know I have to soon move to seeing other Messier objects. =)


Photographing Jupiter for the first time

Finally, a cloudless night — perfect condition for a fresh attempt to photograph Jupiter. I went home from work in anticipation of another moment to look at this very bright object, as it sat above The Hunter and The Bull’s heads.

Jupiter and the 4 Galilean Moons - 10232012 02h20 - Manila, Philippines

While trying my best to capture decent photos with my point and shoot camera, I’ve realized two things: 1) I need a better camera, and/or 2) I need a better telescope. But if I were to prioritize only one of the two, I’d prefer the latter. I love my Meade ETX-60 as it is perfect to view nebulae and other cluster formations, but I would have liked to step up my planetary experience. I know that I have previously resolved on getting a new telescope after my school commitments. But as a lot of things had happened immediately (or even during) those tasks, I had to postpone the purchase because well… I have already spent my telescope fund for more worthwhile things.

Anyway, seeing Jupiter and the four Galilean moons still made my night. The picture above can nowhere capture how wonderful seeing that planet suspended in the sky, but I still love seeing Saturn’s rings because they are forever magnificent. I also braved our street, setting up my telescope and two chairs in front of our house, with a sling bag carrying the eyepieces, a digital camera and my cellphone. I was that determined to use my telescope that I just went extra cautious of my surroundings because I might get mugged. LOL However, as our house extension’s rooftop was about to get built, I will claim the place and make it my makeshift ‘observatory’. But I will have to wait by mid-November in order to do that once it is finished.

I really want a new telescope. >_<