Edwelda's Universe

Ex terra, ad astra . . .

About Us


                Imelda portrait2  


Imelda worked 11 years in the magazine-publishing industry as Image Archivist, Photo Researcher, and Photo Editor for Sky & Telescope, Night Sky, SkyWatch, and Beautiful Universe. For six years she also edited Sky & Telescope’s highly popular Gallery department, which showcases some of the best amateur astrophotos from all over the world.


While holding her full-time job at Sky & Telescope, she served for three years as an active reservist in the United States Navy. Imelda is also a member of Meade Instruments' 4M Alliance Board of Advisors.


Imelda’s passion for astronomy and photography, coupled with her innate entrepreneurial spirit, led her in 2006 to establish Joson Images, a stock-photo company that specializes in science, nature, travel, and historical images.


She continues to give lectures at astronomy gatherings and write articles for various publications. Her how-to article on wide-field astro imaging with tripod-mounted digital SLR cameras was featured in the June 2008 issue of Astronomy magazine.





Imelda was a guest speaker at the AstroImage 2002 conference at UC Irvine in California; the 2006 East Coast Conference on Astronomical Imaging in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the 2009 Northeast Astro-Imaging Conference in Suffern, New York. In March 2009, she and Edwin were invited to give a Moses Greeley Parker Lecture on introductory astrophotography at the U.S. National Park Service's National Historical Park in Lowell, Massachusetts.


                Edwin portrait2


Edwin, on the other hand, worked 12 years as Associate Editor at Sky & Telescope magazine. He wrote and edited features, department articles, and news stories, and edited monthly columns by David Levy and Fred Schaaf. He also authored nine cover stories for Sky & Telescope. Edwin is now the Science & Technology Writer at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.


Before joining Sky & Telescope, for many years Imelda and Edwin were freelance science writers for major daily newspapers and magazines in Manila, Philippines. Their science journalism careers began in 1980, with the publication of their very first astrophoto — that year's total lunar eclipse — on the front page of Bulletin Today (now the Manila Bulletin).


Edwin was formerly the Orbian of the Scroll of the Iuvenis Orbis Geological Fraternity at U.P. Diliman, and was the recipient of the 1982 Student Paper Award in Stratigraphy given by the U.P. Geology Alumni Association for his paper entitled, “Stratigraphy and Sedimentology of the Neogene Sequence along the Marcos Highway, from Pugo, La Union Province, to Tuba, Benguet Province.”


Edwin was president of the Philippine Astronomical Society (PAS) from 1990 to 1991, while Imelda served several terms in the PAS Board of Directors and as the organization’s Public Relations Officer.


In 1985, the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) published the 335-page reference book that Imelda and Edwin had written about Halley’s Comet. It was the first book on astronomy ever written by Filipino authors. That same year, they were elected as the youngest associate members of the NRCP.


For their book and their observations of Comet Halley, the two were awarded the 1986 Padre Faura Astronomy Medal by the Philippine Astronomical Society, as well as resolutions of commendation by the California State Assembly in Sacramento.


In the early 1990s, Imelda and Edwin conducted research on the high-vacuum, thin-film metal coating of telescope mirrors at the Jesuit-run Manila Observatory. There they aluminized mirrors ranging in size from 6 to 12 inches, including the observatory's spectroheliograph. They also designed and constructed two 17.5-inch f/4.5 Newtonian reflectors — for a private observatory in Queensland, Australia, and for the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST).


Imelda and Edwin are veteran eclipse chasers, having organized, led, and/or participated in eight successful solar eclipse expeditions worldwide: to the total eclipses in Java, Indonesia (1983); General Santos City, Philippines (1988); Baja California Sur, Mexico (1991); the Caribbean Sea (1998); Harput, Turkey (1999); Lusaka, Zambia (2001); and Salloum, Egypt (2006); and to the annular eclipse in New Mexico, USA (1994).


They also led an S&T/TravelQuest International tour to Italy to observe the June 2004 transit of Venus from the Vatican Observatory at the Papal Palace in Castel Gandolfo and at the Astronomical Observatory of Rome.


In 2009, Imelda and Edwin co-led a tour for Astronomical Tours to observe that July's total eclipse of the Sun near Jiaxing, China. For the total solar eclipse on July 11, 2010, they will lead another Astronomical Tours expedition, this time to the South Pacific atoll of Tatakoto, in the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia.


Imelda and Edwin also proposed and designed two astronomical stamps issued by the Philippine Postal Services Office — in 1986 to commemorate Comet Halley’s return, and in 1988 to mark that year’s total solar eclipse in Mindanao.





For the 1988 eclipse, they served as technical consultants to the Solar Eclipse National Committee — headed by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) — to help plan and coordinate preparations for the hundreds of foreign astronomers who would be visiting the country to observe the eclipse.


In 1990, Imelda and Edwin proposed and drafted the Executive Proclamation signed by President Corazon C. Aquino, declaring the country's first National Astronomy Week (NAW). In 1992, they obtained a presidential proclamation for the second NAW celebration.


(After Imelda and Edwin migrated to the U.S., then PAS members James Kevin Ty and Francisco “Jun” Lao, Jr., continued the tradition that the two had started — in 1993, James and Jun obtained from Aquino's successor, President Fidel V. Ramos, a proclamation declaring that the National Astronomy Week be celebrated annually every February.)


In 1998, on the occasion of the Philippines’ centennial celebration, the Department of Science & Technology and PAGASA selected Imelda and Edwin to be among the five recipients of the country’s first Casimiro del Rosario Astronomy Award for their “exemplary achievements in the science of Astronomy.”


That same year, Imelda was given a Certificate of Recognition by the European Space Agency’s Hipparcos Space Astrometry Mission/Tycho Catalogue Project for her work on the joint Sky & Telescope/Millennium Star Atlas project.


Edwin, on the other hand, received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for his contribution in officially renaming NASA’s orbiting Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF) the Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO).


In 1999, the two were invited as guest speakers at the Vatican Observatory Summer School in Castel Gandolfo.


In 2006, the Astronomical League of the Philippines gave them its Father Victor Badillo Astronomy Service Award for their “unselfish work and dedication in the development, progress, and promotion of astronomy, both in the local and international levels.”


And in 1995, the International Astronomical Union named asteroid 6282 “Edwelda” in honor of Edwin and Imelda.


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All photos, unless otherwise noted, are copyright 2008 by E. Aguirre and I. Joson. Reproduction requires written permission from both photographers.