When is the Best Time to See the Milky Way from Brunei?

Mr Yong Kim Sin photographed the starry Milky Way last night, August 8, 2020, at around 9:15 pm above Luagan Lalak, Labi in Belait, Brunei Darussalam. (Fujifilm X-H1 10mm f4.0 ISO 3200 60sec)

Our Solar System is located in a barred spiral galaxy. If you look to the centre of the galaxy (top left of the above picture), you will find a higher density of stars and gas clouds, which is called the galactic core. You can see this galactic core and milky way even with the naked eye if you are in a dark enough place. It looks like a starry faint, milky band in the sky.

From Brunei Darussalam, the Milky Way’s core is visible from March till September, with prime viewing times from May till August i.e. the Milky Way season when the galactic centre is observable all-night long.

When planning to observe the Milky Way, consider the following:

1) Good dark location: Essentially, a clear dark sky is necessary to shoot the Milky Way or Galactic Core and that means driving to rural areas further from the cities or town in Brunei Darussalam. Presence of the moon light could also interfere the visibility of the MilkyWay, hence avoid during and near full moon phase.

2) Right time: Have any plan for November to capture the Milky Way? You will be disappointed. From Brunei, the Milky Way is below the horizon at night from November and January. Use this time table to select and plan the proper time:

MonthMilky Way Visible fromMilky Way sets
February3 AM5 AM
March1 AM5 AM
April11 PM5 AM
May9 PM4 AM
June8 PM4 AM
July8 PM4 AM
August8 PM2 AM
September8 PM11 PM
October8 PM10 PM
N/A -Not visible

3) Suitable equipment: A dslr or phone camera (with bigger/sensitive sensor); a fast lens (f2.8 or better); a trigger or timer remote (so less vibration) and a sturdy tripod

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