From the classroom, to the Universe



Sunspot AR 1884 and AR1885


AR 1884 and 1885 captured using ETX 125 and Toucam Pro. November 3, 2013


Star Trekking II – Mt. Balagbag

After my first mountaineering adventure with a heavy telescope on my back, I told my self I won’t be doing it again,  well at least not with a heavy 5 inch telescope. So this time we chose a mountain, more like of a hill rather, which is really easy and not quite far from Manila which is Mt. Balagbag located almost in between of Bulacan and Rizal Province.  The trail there was quite easy and we had the luxury of not getting burned by the scorching heat of the sun since we trekked in the afternoon, apparently no trees are present around the trail, I would not suggest going up on near noon time.

Trail to the Summit

The cool breeze in the afternoon was very relaxing after the trek to the registration area where we were entertained by the caretaker’s cat.


Mt. Balagbag is not difficult to climb but the scenery around is nevertheless spectacular.


Mt. Balagbag

A 3.5″ Maksutov Cassegrain telescope named “Karen” which is short for kaladkaren. A bring it everywhere telescope, lightweight and portable!

3.5 Inch Maksutov

It was cloudy the whole night but the early morning skies was majestic.  Moon, Saturn, Mercury and Venus in line.

Moon, Saturn Mercury and Venus

Sunrise over another mountain peek. Taken using a Canon 550d on a SkyWatcher 3.5″ Mak using a Thousand Oaks Solar Filter.


Photo Credits:

Kashogi Astapan


Jupiter 12/16

Jupiter 12/16

Recording 2 minute avi instead of 1 min significantly increases frames which results to more detail in post processing. However blur due to Jupiter’s rotation becomes noticeable if one record longer.

In this current set up atleast, it rotation has little effects on the image which was captured at f10.

Images were captured using PAS’s Celestron Nexstar 8se and Philips Toucam. Acquired via Sharpcap, processed using Registax V5 and CS3. Observed from Malabon City, Philippines

Test Images