Philippine Team wins 2018 NASA Space Apps Challenge

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 22, 2019   •   2185

Philippine Team iNON bags first prize in the 2018 NASA Space Apps Challenge Galactic Impact category.  Team iNON members include (left-right): Matthew Concubierta, Revbrain Martin, Marie Jeddah Legaspi, and Julius Czar Torreda.

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Out of the 1,395 teams around the world, Philippine team iNON won first place in the 2018 NASA Space App Challenge Best Galactic Impact category with their ISDApp, an app that communicates crucial information about real-time weather and sea conditions to fisher folks.

Using NASA Globe observer data, the app will be able to provide life-saving weather information to fisherfolk’s cellphones without the use of internet.

U.S Ambassador to the Philippnes, Sung Kim congratulated the five-man team composed of Matthew Concubierta, Revbrain Martin, Marie Jeddah Legaspi, Leandro de Guzman and Julius Czar Torreda, for their achievement.

“I am deeply impressed by team iNON’s fantastic achievement in defeating teams from around the world to win first place in the Galactic Impact category of the NASA Space Apps Challenge.  They can inspire other Filipino youth to develop innovative solutions to problems in their own communities,” Ambassador Kim said.

Team Leader, Legaspi explained the importance of the said app which, according to him, “is a simple solution with an important purpose, which we believe helped it swim to success.  This is proof that even technology needs a heart.” — Aileen Cerrudo

NASA presents panorama of southern sky

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 7, 2019

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has presented a panorama of the southern sky through the observations of its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

The panorama was completed last July 2019 and is divided into 13 sectors, each of them imaged by a month by spacecraft’s four cameras.

“TESS has imaged a comet in our solar system, followed the progress of numerous stellar explosions called supernovae, and even caught the flare from a star ripped apart by a supermassive black hole,” according to NASA.

NASA’s TESS is on its way north in order to begin a year-long study of the northern sky.—AAC

Duterte in ASEAN: South China Sea issue must be resolved peacefully in accordance with UNCLOS

Maris Federez   •   November 3, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joins other leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries during the 35th ASEAN Summit Plenary at Impact Exhibition and Convention Center in Nonthaburi, Thailand on November 2, 2019. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Malacañang has confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte joined his fellow heads of state and government of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in their plenary session in the evening of November 2.

A statement released by Malacanang on Sunday reads that President Duterte talked about the challenges that face ASEAN, such as, transnational crimes, advances in technology, protectionism and trade-related tension among ASEAN partners, environmental sustainability and geopolitical transformation.

The Palace said that the President thereafter shared his insights in addressing said challenges.

In elaborating geopolitical transformation, the Chief Executive made mention of the issue of the South China Sea “which he considers as one that is of strategic importance to ASEAN”, stressing his firm stance that it “must be resolved peacefully in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”

The President further mentioned that maintaining freedom of navigation and overflight above the South China Sea is a priority of ASEAN.

With its role as ASEAN-China Country Coordinator, the Philippines “vowed to do its utmost best to conclude the negotiations on the Code of Conduct — one that is effective and substantive — at the soonest possible time.”

The President also discussed the changing landscape of the Southeast Asian region “which recognizes the rise of the dragon (China) in a world still dominated by a soaring eagle (United States).”

The statement also confirmed that the Chief Executive called on ASEAN leaders not to choose — or be forced to choose — sides by pointing out what he calls a “strategic mistake” committed by the Philippines’ past leaderships, which he is now rectifying through his independent foreign policy.

The Palace further said that, for the remainder of this year’s ASEAN Summit, the President will likely continue elaborating and discussing the Philippines’ position in relation to important matters that are beneficial not just to the Filipino people but to the citizens of ASEAN member countries. (with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

NASA shows pumpkin sun photo

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2019

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shared a photo of our sun showing a spooky glow, resembling a flaming jack-o’-lantern.

The photo was taken on October 8, 2014 by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). According to NASA, the brighter areas seen in the photo is due to the higher amount of light and energy emitted.

NASA also said the image blends together two sets of wavelengths at 171 and 193 angstroms, typically colorized in gold and yellow to give that ‘spooky’ appearance.

Here is what the photo would look like in other sets of wavelengths.

The sun as imaged by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on Oct. 8, 2014, in 335 angstrom extreme ultraviolet light.
Credit: NASA/SDO
The sun as imaged by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on Oct. 8, 2014, in 304 angstrom extreme ultraviolet light.

“They [brighter areas of the sun] are markers of an intense and complex set of magnetic fields hovering in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona,” according to NASA’s website.—AAC

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