World Wide Development in Astronomy (WWDA) Visit to Brunei Darussalam

Report by Boonrucksar Soonthornthum, National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, Ministry of Science & Technology, Thailand

Source: IAU Information Bulletin 109 (Download)

Background Information

Brunei Darussalam is a small Kingdom in South-East Asia located on the northern shore of the island of Borneo. The state’s major industry on petroleum makes Brunei Darussalam a prosperous and progressive country, with a population of approximately 400,000 (July 2010). Brunei has the second highest Human Development Index among South East Asia nations, after Singapore, and is classified as a Developed Country.

Boonrucksar Soonthornthum visited Brunei Darussalam during July 13-19, 2011 and Hakim Malasan, during July 16-19, 2011, with the following objectives:

  • To introduce the roles of South-East Asian countries for promoting and supporting the missions of World Wide Development in Astronomy (WWDA)
  • To introduce the recent development of Astronomy in South-East Asia especially the initiation of South-East Asian Astronomy Network (SEAAN) and the establishment of the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, which will serve as a national institute in astronomy in Thailand and one of the center for the international collaboration in astronomy in the South-East Asian countries
  • To promote the activity on the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) and encourage Brunei Darussalam to organise a national competition on Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad and send the national team to join the IOAA
  • To explore the astronomical activities organised in Brunei Darussalam, to promote astronomy to this country and to seek for the possible future collaboration both astronomy education and research

Continue reading “World Wide Development in Astronomy (WWDA) Visit to Brunei Darussalam”

Spectacular celestial conjunctions on Dec 25 2012

Planet and Lunar Conjunctions on Dec 25 2012
Planet and Lunar Conjunctions on Dec 25 2012

The moon, mighty Jupiter and bright stars cluster of Pleiades appear in celestial conjunction on the night of Dec 25, 2012. Stargazers will be able to see the moon is closed to the planet and stars cluster through the night sky. A great opportunity to all astrophotographers in Brunei to capture the spectacular event.

Total Eclipse of the Moon on Dec 10, 2011

Total Eclipse of the Moon on Dec 10, 2011
Total Eclipse of the Moon on Dec 10, 2011

The Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam and the Survey Department of Brunei will organise a Lunar Eclipse observation for the public:

Date: 10 December 2011 (Saturday)

Time: 7 pm until 1 am

Venue: Waterfront, Bandar Seri Begawan (click here)

Circumstances of the Eclipse (Local Brunei Times)

P1 Moon enters penumbra: 2011 Dec 10 19:34
U1 Moon enters umbra: 2011 Dec 10 20:46
U2 Start of totality: 2011 Dec 10 22:06
Maximum eclipse: 2011 Dec 10 22:32
U3 End of totality: 2011 Dec 10 22:58
U4 Moon leaves umbra: 2011 Dec 11 00:18
P4 Moon leaves penumbra: 2011 Dec 11 01:30


Magnitude and Duration

Umbral magnitude: 1.111
Penumbral magnitude: 2.212
Duration of total phase: 0h 52m 16s
Duration of umbral phase: 3h 32m 54s
Duration of penumbral phase: 5h 59m 53s

Live Eclipse Webcasts:
+ Sky Watchers Association of North Bengal, India + AWB National Coordinator for the Philippines + Astronomylive.com + Astronation, Germany + Sloosh Space Camera

More info [Click Here]

2011 Aug 30 Brunei Sight Syawal Cresent 1432

Bandar Seri Begawan – The astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) carried out the moon crescent observation at Agok Hill in the afternoon. The weather was very cloudy and the moon crescent was only observed for a few minutes from 18:55 local time through telescopes, binocular and naked eyes.

The 31-hour-old new moon crescent visible through a telescope at 18:55 local time from Bukit Agok, August 30, 2011.
The 31-hour-old new moon crescent visible through a telescope at 18:55 local time from Bukit Agok, August 30, 2011.
A few minutes before the sunset. The weather condition was partly cloudy.
A few minutes before the sunset. The weather condition was partly cloudy.

Present at the observation were Pengiran Shahdani (Vice President II), Awang Hj Mohamad Azri (Exco) and 4 other members.

The result of the observation was submitted to Islamic Crescents’ Observation Project (ICOP). See worldwide observation result here.

Assigned vantage points throughout the country could sight the new moon of Syawal 1432 H. The official announcement of the sighting was also made on TV and Radio and Brunei Darussalam starts Aidilfitri tommorrow, 31 August 2011.

2011 Aug 01 Large Sunspots Notice

Three sunspots of Solar Cycle 24 were captured without any filter at sunset from Seri Kenangan Beach, Tutong on August 01, 2011. (Canon EOS 400D Lens EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Focal Length 135.0mm)
Three sunspots of Solar Cycle 24 were captured without any filter at sunset from Seri Kenangan Beach, Tutong on August 01, 2011. (Canon EOS 400D Lens EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Focal Length 135.0mm) by Hazarry

Bandar Seri Begawan – The current sun is increasingly active with larger sunspots and the number increasing. Local solar observers are encourage to look at these sunspots safely with solar filters within this few days (Warning: Do NOT look at the sun directly).

As it can be seen from the photograph below, the sunspots appeared dark but in fact they are not. They were just appear dark by contrast. These regions can reach between 1100 to 2500 degrees Celcius and cooler than the surrounding surface.

These spots were capable of producing X-class solar flares which can effectively damage the man-made communication satellites but also interestingly producing green auroras around the Earth’s poles.

Member of International Astronomical Union Meets PABD

Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (IAU) with members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam
Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (IAU) with members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam
Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (IAU) with members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam
Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (IAU) with members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam
Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (IAU) with members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam
Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (IAU) with members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam

Above: Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (IAU) with members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam. More Photos.

Bandar Seri Begawan – Brunei Darussalam Astronomical Society had a discussion with Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum, Director of National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT), yesterday afternoon (16 July 2011).

Among the purposes of the meeting is to promote astronomy education and popularizing astronomy in this country. Boonrucksar who is also the national members of International Astronomy Union (IAU) wishes the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam, and Brunei in general, to establish cooperation with South-East Asian Astronomy Network (SEAAN). This network serves South-East Asian countries to collaborate and strengthen Astronomical research activities in this region.

Briefing on the International Astronomy Union information is also presented by Professor Boonrucksar Soonthornthum. He explained that “Thailand has become a national member of the IAU in 2006 and currently there are 70 countries or national members.” Currently, Brunei has not been a candidate to become the member of the IAU.

A report summary on Education and Popularisation of Astronomy Session in 10th Asia Pacific Regional IAU Meeting (APRIM). Brunei was reported having no Astronomers.
A report summary on Education and Popularisation of Astronomy Session in 10th Asia Pacific Regional IAU Meeting (APRIM). Brunei was reported having no Astronomers.

Download a full report documents_aprim2008

NARIT has a number of modern observatories. Among them is the Thai National Observatory is located in the Province of Chiang Mai houses a 2.4 meter telescope. Attract also established five fruits and k. Public Observatories One of the prototype is located in Southern Thailand (about the same latitude as Brunei) and Professor Boonrucksar Suggested that this observatoy to be one of the research center for Islamic Astronomy. These observatories are expected to be in operation in 2012, next year.

Present at the meeting were Exco PABD: Dk Ratna (Treasurer), Hj Julaihi (Deputy Secretary-I), Pg Shahdani (Deputy Secretary II) and Dyg Salmah (Exco member). Also participating in the discussions is Dr Dr Hj Norarfan Hj Zainal, Deputy Raes of Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College (Kupu SB).

Download a full report IAU Information Bulletin Jan 2012 (Source http://www.iau.org/static/publications/IB109.pdf)

Public Skywatching on July 18 2011

Skymap showing a list of astronomical objects that will be visible on the evening of July 18, 2011.
Skymap showing a list of astronomical objects that will be visible on the evening of July 18, 2011.

All welcome. In conjuction to the Islamic Astronomy and Astronomy Education Convention, The Seri Begawan Religious Teaching University College (KUPUSB) will be holding exhibitions and skywatching activities at night, July 18 from 8 pm.

The city skywatching programme is also organised by the Astronomical Unit, Department of Survey and the Astronomical Society of Brunei.

Highlight of the night will be the ringed planet, Saturn, and few other deep sky objects like star clusters and nebulas. In addition to observation, an astronomy talk and presentation is also expected.

The event will be venue at the University Collage’s car park.
skymap showing a list of astronomical objects that will be visible on the evening of July 18, 2011.