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Imelda B. Joson and Edwin L. Aguirre

In 1985, Imelda and Edwin co-authored a 317-page reference book on Halley’s Comet, which was published by the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP). It was the first book on astronomy ever written by Filipino authors.

Imelda and Edwin also proposed and designed two sets of postage stamps that were issued by the Philippine Postal Service — to commemorate the appearance of Halley’s Comet in 1986, as well as the March 1988 total solar eclipse, which was visible from the southern Philippine Island of Mindanao (General Santos City, South Cotabato).

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 primary mirror of the observatory’s spectroheliograph.

They also designed and constructed two 17.5-inch f/4.5 Newtonian reflecting telescopes — one for a private observatory near Tamborine Mountain in Queensland, Australia, and the other for the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

In 1990, they also conceived, proposed and drafted the Executive Proclamation that was signed into law by Philippine President Corazon C. Aquino, declaring the nation’s first “National Astronomy Week” celebration. The event is now observed every year throughout the country.

In 1999, Imelda and Edwin were invited as guest lecturers at the Vatican Observatory Summer School, which was held at the Papal Palace in Castel Gandolfo, Italy.

Imelda and Edwin have received numerous awards and recognitions over the years, including the 1986 Padre Faura Astronomy Medal from the Philippine Astronomical Society, the 1998 Casimiro del Rosario Astronomy Award from the Republic of the Philippines, the 2006 Father Badillo Astronomy Service Award from the Astronomical League of the Philippines, and Resolutions of Commendation from the California State Assembly in Sacramento in 1985. Imelda was also recognized by the European Space Agency’s Hipparcos Project for her contributions to the three-volume Millennium Star Atlas 2000.0, which was a joint project between ESA and Sky & Telescope.

In 1995, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) named asteroid 1980 TS4 as “6282 Edwelda” in their honor.

In 2022, Imelda and Edwin established the “Astronomy Experts Speaker Series” in collaboration with the Astronomical League of the Philippines. Their goal is to invite renowned astronomers and researchers from NASA, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the James Webb Space Telescope, the International Astronomical Union, the Vatican Observatory, the U.S. National Solar Observatory, and many others to give free Zoom webinars to help promote science to the Filipino people.

Edwin is currently the Senior Science & Technology Writer at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the Editor of its Engineering Solutions magazine. He is also a longtime member of the American Astronomical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Imelda is president and founder of Joson Images, a private photography company that specializes in nature, science, astronomy and historical images, as well as corporate and marketing photography.

In addition to their passion for eclipses, astronomy and astrophotography, Imelda and Edwin have been assisting the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife in monitoring and rescuing endangered species of raptors, especially peregrine falcons, for more than 15 years.

They are also passionate about the protection and conservation of wildlife, the environment and nature, especially seashells. From 2011 to 2013, they served as co-presidents of the Boston Malacological Club, a non-profit organization of shell enthusiasts, conchologists and malacologists founded in 1910 at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Imelda and Edwin were the first non-Caucasian presidents to serve in the club’s 113-year history.

For the past three years, they have also been helping to support and sustain the population of migratory monarch butterflies, which have recently been declared as “endangered” due to the loss of their habitat and food supply along their migration routes, as well as the widespread use of pesticides and the global effects of climate change.



Total solar eclipses (organized and led/participated in):

1. June 11, 1983 – Surakarta (Solo), Java, Indonesia

2. March 18, 1988 – General Santos City, Cotabato del Sur, Philippines

3. July 11, 1991 – Cabo Pulmo, Baja California Sur, Mexico

4. February 26, 1998 – Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Curacao (aboard Holland America’s cruise ship MS Veendam)

5. August 11, 1999 – Harput, near Elazig, Turkey

6. June 21, 2001 – Lusaka, Zambia

7. March 29, 2006 – El Salloum, Egypt (next to the border with Libya)

8. July 22, 2009 – Jiaxing, near Shanghai, China

9. July 11, 2010 – Tatakoto Atoll, French Polynesia

10. August 21, 2017 – Riverton, Wyoming, U.S.A.


Annular solar eclipses (organized and led):

1. May 10, 1994 – Deming, New Mexico, U.S.A.

2. May 20, 2012 – Page, Arizona, U.S.A.


Partial solar eclipses: Approximately 11

(Observed from the Philippines and the U.S., from 1980 to 2021)

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