How can we effectively reduce the impacts of light pollution?

The International Astronomical Union – Without dark skies, astronomers are unable to receive the faint signals of light from distant objects in outer space. Dark skies are a critical scientific resource for understanding the mysteries of the universe. Dark skies are also an important part of the cultural and natural heritage of all civilizations.

Light pollution map of Brunei Darussalam by

Many astronomical observatories are built in remote locations in an effort to escape the light of cities and towns. Even so, these observatories are threatened by light pollution such as city lights encroaching upon the mountaintop of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Mauna Kea Observatories is one of the best astronomical sites in the world. Lighting ordinances are an important tool to protect these sites from light pollution.

Continue reading “How can we effectively reduce the impacts of light pollution?”

Supermoon 2020 until 2030

A supermoon is a full moon or a new moon that nearly coincides with perigee (the closest that the Moon comes to the Earth in its elliptic orbit) resulting in a slightly larger-than-usual apparent size of the lunar disk as viewed from Earth. The astronomy term is a perigee syzygy (of the Earth–Moon–Sun system) or a full (or new) Moon around perigee.

Criteria of Supermoon

There are no official definition for a supermoon, as the term was mainly a related interest to astrology. Few criteria as follow:

  • Richard Nolle (2011) defines Supermoon as any lunation closer than 368,630 km.
  • Fred Espenak (2012) defines the Moon’s mean apogee and perigee distances results in a mean limiting distance of 367,607 km for a super moon.
  • Fergus Wood (1976) used the definition of a full or new moon occurring within 24 hours of perigee and also used the label perigee-syzygy.
  • Sky and Telescope magazine chose a definition of 223,000 miles (358,884 km)
  • prefers a definition of 360,000 km (223,694 mi).

You can find the full list of Supermoon / Perigee syzygy / Full Moon around perigee for year 2020 until 2030 below compiled and computed by Hazarry Hj Ali Ahmad, the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam, based on the above definitions. A logical check is also generated for the top 3 closest moon distance in that year. A personal opinion is to categories the Supermoon when at least 3 of the criterial searches were met.

Make your own cardboard planisphere

Adapted from Dominic Ford

A planisphere is a simple hand-held device which shows a map of which stars are visible in the night sky at any particular time. By rotating a wheel, it shows how stars move across the sky through the night, and how different constellations are visible at different times of year. On this web page, a kit which you can download and print to make your own planisphere (for Brunei Darussalam) out of paper or cardboard.

Continue reading “Make your own cardboard planisphere”

Astronomi dan Masyarakat di Negara Brunei Darussalam

Hazarry bin Haji Ali Ahmad
Persatuan Astronomi Negara Brunei Darussalam
*Presenting author’s email:

Astronomi merupakan suatu bidang yang multidisiplin iaitu gabungan sains, matematik, agama dan pelbagai lagi. Bagaimanapun di Negara Brunei Darussalam pendedahan bidang tersebut terhadap orang ramai masih lagi kurang. Justeru itu, Persatuan Astronomi Negara Brunei Darussalam (PABD) memainkan peranan sebagai agensi bebas dan persatuan bukan Kerajaan untuk memajukan bidang ini terutamanya astronomi Islam (falak syarie) melalui pelbagai inisiatif dan mempelbagai program bagi menarik minat masyarakat. Sejak penubuhan PABD pada tahun 2003, beberapa faktor yang menyumbang serta cabaran pada perkembangan bidang astronomi dalam kalangan masyarakat di Negara Brunei Darussalam telah dikenalpasti.

Astronomical Society of Brunei holds 3rd AGM

Welcoming Speech by YM Hj Mahadi bin Hj Md Tahir, the President of PABD

Bandar Seri Begawan – The Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) held it’s 3rd Annual General Meeting today (28 October 2018), at Al-Afiah Hotel Kiulap. Present at the meeting was YM Hj Mahadi bin Hj Md Tahir the President of PABD and YM Hj Johar bin Hj Mohamad Vice President of PABD.

Continue reading “Astronomical Society of Brunei holds 3rd AGM”

Prosedur Operasi Piawai (Sop) Dalam Penentuan Awal Syawal Di Negara Brunei Darussalam

Oleh Shahir Akram Hassan & Mohd Shukri Hanapi
Pusat Kajian Pengurusan Pembangunan Islam (ISDEV)
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 Pulau Pinang
Tel: 04-6532661 Faks: 04-6532124
E-mail: /

Kertas kerja ini merupakan sebahagian daripada hasil penyelidikan yang bertajuk Pengaplikasian Rukyah dan Hisab di Asia Tenggara [(RUI)1001/CISDEV/816269] dan telah dibiayai oleh Geran Research University Individual (RUI), Universiti Sains Malaysia (2015–2016).

Continue reading “Prosedur Operasi Piawai (Sop) Dalam Penentuan Awal Syawal Di Negara Brunei Darussalam”

Basis for Using the Rukyah Method for Determining the Arrival of Ramadan and Syawal in Brunei Darussalam

By Dr. Mohd Shukri Hanapi1 & Dr. Shahir Akram Hassan

Source: Journal of Islamic Studies and Culture December 2015, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 13-22 ISSN: 2333-5904 (Print), 2333-5912 (Online) Copyright Β© The Author(s). All Rights Reserved. Published by American Research Institute for Policy Development DOI: 10.15640/jisc.v3n2a2 URL:


There are various methods used to determine the arrival of Ramadan (fasting) and Syawal in South East Asia. Malaysia and Indonesia use the rukyah (sighting of the moon) and hisab (mathematical calculations), Singapore uses the hisab while Brunei only uses the rukyah method. These differences are due to the different basis for using a certain method to determine the arrival of Ramadan and Syawal. The basis here refers to religious references and forms of istidlal (inferences). The question is, what religious references are used to substantiate the adoption of the rukyah method in Brunei? What is their form of istidlal based on the religious references? To answer all these questions this study has two objectives. Firstly, it intends to determine the religious references that act as the basis for using the rukyah method in Brunei. Secondly, to analyse the different forms of istidlal based on the religious references. In order to achieve these objectives, this qualitative study used library research and expert interview methods for collecting data. All the data were analysed using the content analysis method. Lastly, this study concluded that religious references from the al-Qur’an and Hadith used as a basis for applying the rukyah method in Brunei is similar to the religious references used as a basis for applying rukyah and hisab in other South East Asian countries. The only difference is the various forms of istidlal.

Download Paper

New Criterion for Lunar Crescent Visibility

By MOHAMMAD SH. ODEH, Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences (AUASS), P.O. Box 141568, Amman 11814, Jordan (e-mail: Β (Received 12 May 2005; accepted 19 September 2005)

Abstract. A new criterion for lunar crescent visibility has been established using 737 observations, almost half of them obtained by the Islamic Crescent Observation Project (ICOP). This criterion is based on two variables, viz. the topocentric arc of vision and the topocentric crescent width. The new model is able to predict the visibility of the lunar crescent both for naked eye and optically aided observations. From the database we found a Danjon limit of 6.4 degrees.

Introduction The lunar crescent visibility has been studied by many astronomers since the Babylonian era, with as a result currently more than 12 different criteria for lunar crescent visibility, based on a number of sightings in different lunar conditions. Many of these criteria were developed by Islamic astronomers, since a number of Islamic religiouseventsaredirectlyrelatedtolunarcrescentsighting.Forexample,thenew Lunar (Hijric) month begins on the next day of sighting the new crescent at west after sunset.

Download HERE New Criterion Crescent.pdf