2020 October 21 How big are the Planets?

Tutong – Mars, Saturn and Jupiter have reached opposition and shine extra bright in the evening sky in October 2020.

How large the planets appear in the sky, as seen through a telescope? This photograph of the planets taken last night shows the actual apparent size for comparison, measured in arcseconds (“).

The evening planets – Mars, Saturn and Jupiter on October 21, 2020 and their apparent angular size for comparison (Photographed by Hazarry Hj Ali Ahmad of PABD)
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2020 Oct 18 Planet Mars at Post-Opposition

A close-up view of Mars from Brunei Darussalam tonight, October 18, 2020 – after a week from opposition and closest to Earth, the red planet is still best viewable in the night sky.

One of the prominent low albedo (dark) feature is Syrtis Major Planum, clearly visible on this photograph. Albedo is a measure of how much light something reflects.

The Martian albedo are the light (high albedo) and dark (low albedo) features can be seen on the planet Mars (Photo by Hazarry bin Haji Ali Ahmad, the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam)
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2020 Sep 26 International Observe the Moon Night 2020

International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) is a time to come together with fellow Moon enthusiasts and curious people worldwide. Everyone on Earth is invited to learn about lunar science and exploration, take part in celestial observations, and honor cultural and personal connections to the Moon.

Past first quarter moon from Warisan Puk Balaban, Brunei Darussalam on Sep 26, 2020 (Photo by @je0nflwr)
Touch the Moon activity at InOMN Brunei Darussalamn
International Observe the Moon Night 2020 coverage by Radio Television Brunei.

Brunei Darussalam joined it’s first global InOMN moon observation which was organised by the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam and Warisan Puk Balaban management on September 26, 2020. More than 100 lunar observers participated in the public outreach event at Warisan Puk Balaban in Tutong. Here are some of the scenes in action at InOMN.

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2020 Sep 12 Stargazing at HAGAP

Bandar Seri Begawan – About 15 children guests at Homestay Alai Gayoh Anak Pulau (HAGAP), Tutong, were treated to an amazing night for stargazing on September 12, 2020.

The stargazing @ HAGAP was facilitated by 11 members of The Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD). The session was planned to start at 7 pm at the front lawn, but a thin blanket of clouds and drizzles continuing until pre dawn which put the observation on hold. But, the rest of the sky was clear until sunrise.

Cikgu Benson bin Tunggong, the owner of Homestay Alai Gayoh Anak Pulau (HAGAP) in Bukit Udal, Tutong with some of the children guests (Photo by PABD)
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2020 Aug 29 Stargazing at Warisan Puk Balaban

Stargazing and camping go hand in hand to enjoy the beauty of our universe.

More than 30 students of Tanjong Maya secondary school enjoyed their ultimate first time stargazing experience at Warisan Puk Balaban on August 29, 2020.

Close conjunction of Saturn and the Moon at about 2 degrees separation on August 29, 2020 from Puk Balaban, Tutong (Photo by Dr Hjh Roslynna Hj Rosli of PABD)
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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.

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2020 May 07 Brightest and Biggest mid-Ramadan Full Moon Rises in the Night Sky Over Brunei

Bandar Seri Begawan – Tonight’s full moon was a Supermoon which is astronomically known as the perigee-syzygy. It occurs when the full moon is directly opposite the sun and at the closest juncture (perigee) to earth in its orbit.

Tonightโ€™s full moon was the final Supermoon in 2020, and the next occurrence is on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 11:31 am. (Find out when is the next Supermoon from 2020 until 2030 here)

Here are some of tonightโ€™s best supermoon snapshots from around Brunei Darussalam.

A Supermoon full Moon rises behind the golden dome of Brunei’s landmark, Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha bridge.  Photographed by Awang Norsah Kassim @stokinbubus from Kg Tamoi Ujung. (Canon 90D, Sigma 150 – 600mm f5 with TC2001, 581mm, 1/30 sec, f/11, ISO 200)
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Comet SWAN (C/2020 F8) is Brightening Rapidly

Bright green comet SWAN C/2020 F8 photographed by Hazarry of PABD (Canon EOS 7D Mark II Stacked 20×15 Sec ISO 1600, Astro-Tech AT72ED 72mm f/6 ED refractor, Unguided)

UPDATE (Thursday, 07 May 2020): A possible naked-eye outburst of Comet SWAN! Despite of bright moonlight and thin clouds, Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) is still visible from Brunei just before nautical twilight today, May 07, 2020 at 0520. The greenish coma is due to molecules of Cyanogen and Carbon gas ejected from the comet nucleus. In the following days, the comet is located very low on the Eastern horizon in early morning twilight, before it fades in full daylight next week.

Another comet observer, Abdul Waliyuddin, a member of Brunei Darussalam Astronomical Society (PABD), managed to capture the beautiful Comet Swan as it makes its way through our solar system. Waliyuddin said “The pre-dawn skies of Seria gave way to a clear view of the celestial ceiling this morning. It was spewing a tail of gas and dust that can extend up to hundreds of millions of kilometres away from its epicenter from Seria, Belait, Brunei Darussalam”

Comet SWAN was only discovered two months ago. There is much to be understood and learned from our skies. Whatever science tells us about the biology of our fingers will always be lesser than the true reality of the wonders of our finger. Likewise, whatever we know about our skies will always be lesser than the actual existential reality of the grandeur of space.

Comet SWAN from Seria, Brunei Darussalam, on May 7, 2020. Photographed by Waliyuddin of PABD (Captured using a Skywatcher Evostar 100ED DS APO Refractor Telescope with a Canon EOS 6D at 30s exposure ISO1250)
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