Brilliant Geminid Meteor Shower Dazzles Brunei Sky

Bandar Seri Begawan – In the predawn hours of December 13, 2015, as the Earth began to sweep through a dense remains of debris from asteroid 3200 Phaethon, these falling space debris burned up in the atmosphere and caused bright flashes in the sky known as shooting stars or geminids meteor showers.

The Geminid shower got its name from the constellation of Gemini or the Twins. From Tutong, there were about 10 meteors in an hour visibled on that morning. The rate is expected to increase as the annual geminid meteor shower peaks tonight (13-14 December 2015). That is when more than 50 shooting stars might be visible every hour (depending on your location/sky). Geminids can be spotted starting between 10 pm and before sunrise, and expected to peak at around 2 am. Continue reading “Brilliant Geminid Meteor Shower Dazzles Brunei Sky”

25 December 2014: Comet Lovejoy from Brunei (Update)

Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei on Dec 25 2014 - Hazarry bin Haji Ali Ahmad
Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei on Dec 25 2014

December 25, 2014, Brunei – After the waxing moon set, clouds began to clear out making tonight’s sky an excellent night to gaze the stars.

I got all of my equipment ready – an Orion Astroview 120 telescope placed on an iOptron Alt-Az mount and hooked my Canon EOS 650D on to the scope – a simple setup to photograph the comet.

Set up the scope, align it with Jupiter and slewed to RA 06h00m16s DEC -32°29’44” to point above the South-Eastern sky.

Orion Astroview 120 ST mounted on the iOprton AltAz
Orion Astroview 120 ST mounted on the iOprton AltAz

Spotted! There was a green fuzzy cloud, the comet Lovejoy C2014 Q2, in the constellation of Columba.

The comet was easily spotted in my telescope. It came to my surprise that the comet is now “tail-less” when comparing from my last observation, that was two days ago. Despite of its very faint tail, the coma has now quite a bit brighter than before. Astronomy community reported that was now at magnitude +5, which should be visible to the naked eyes under an excellent dark sky.

So, keep looking up! You never know what may come.

For star charts and Ephemeris for Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) to guide you  in your observation click here.

Comet Lovejoy C2014 grazes Brunei sky

Dec 23, 2014. DARK MOONLESS SKY TONIGHT and Comet Lovejoy C2014 was positioned high above our Brunei sky at around mid-night.

Recently in August this year, An Australian amateur astronomer, Terry Lovejoy, discovered his fifth comet, C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy).

The photograph of the Comet was captured from Tutong, Brunei Darussalam last night. It appeared amazingly bright through a telescope and features a greenish coma with a faint tail.

Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei
Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei

Based on the image above and comparing the magnitudes of the background stars, the comet is currently at about magnitude +5.

At the moment, the comet is hardly visible to the naked eyes if you are in a small city with light pollution. Hence binoculars or a telescope is required to view it.

Reports from astronomy communities said that the comet is still brightening. The comet will be still viewable throughout January next year and it will be at maximum brightness by mid-January 2015.

Read more info about this comet here.

Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei
Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei

 

A guide to photograph Comet ISON tomorrow

Space Weather News for Nov. 14, 2013 http://spaceweather.com/ COMET ISON OUTBURST: Observers around the world are reporting a sharp increase in the brightness of sundiving Comet ISON. Formerly dim, it is now on the threshold of naked-eye visibility. Comet ISON is plunging toward the sun for a perilous pass through the solar atmosphere on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28th). This could be the first of many brightening events as intensifying solar heat erodes material away from the comet’s nucleus. UPDATE: November 28, 2013 ALERT: Unofficial report Comet ISON is definitely into negative magnitudes as seen in LASCO C3. ISON is currently not visible to observers as it is located behind the sun.

20131123 Comet ISON
20131123 Comet ISON

2009 Feb 21 Comet Lulin Photo from Brunei

The Eastern sky on 21 Feb 2009 at 12.30 am from Lubok Pulau, Tutong. Photo reveals comet Lulin is already visible despite of light polluted sky. Canon EOS 450D with Lens Kit 18mm at 30 sec f/4 ISO 1600.
The Eastern sky on 21 Feb 2009 at 12.30 am from Lubok Pulau, Tutong. Photo reveals comet Lulin is already visible despite of light polluted sky. Canon EOS 450D with Lens Kit 18mm at 30 sec f/4 ISO 1600.

Saturday – This morning, the sky offered an excellent chance for a comet hunting as most of the sky was clear. The search for the comet Lulin began by identifying the star Spica, and hopped to Zaniah of Virgo. A few degree below it, the fuzzy green comet can be seen easily to the naked eyes already despite of lights glowing from small towns.

This week, the Comet (Lulin C/2007 N3) will make a closest approach to the earth on Feb 24. It should be positioned high in the sky at midnight. I urge everyone not to miss this rare opportunity to scan the sky for the comet.

2007 Oct 06 View of Comet Holmes from Brunei Sky

mIMG_6077

Above: The Coma of the comet seen as a fuzzy ball of light. Note that there is no tail. Photograph by Hazarry Haji Ali Ahmad.

Bandar Seri Begawan, October 27 – The recent mega out burst of comet Holmes 17P since October 24th surprises comet hunters and stargazers around the world as the comet appears from a 12th magnitude to an easily spotted naked eye object in the sky.

People in Brunei too should not miss this rare opportunity to gaze up the sky for the comet. The comet can be seen even without the aids of telescopes all-night long in  the constellation of Perseus.

Currently, a close up view of the comet appears as a yellowish fuzzy ball and it is lacking a tail. Last night, seeing with the naked eyes, the 3rd magnitude comet appeared like a “star” and is easily visibled despite of the interference from the full moonlight.

Astronomers are baffled by the outburst and no explanation has been given yet for such appearance. A comet have been known as a relatively small extraterrestrial body consisting of a frozen mass (of ice and dust) that travels around the sun in a highly elliptical orbit.

Progress of the comet will be updated from time to time and guidelines of viewing the comet can be found on this page later.