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.

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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.

Tonight’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 tonight’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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On the Sighting of the Crescent Moon

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by Rodion Herrera, Astronomical Solutions Company L.L.C

The sighting of the new moon is a particular subject in astronomy that has fascinated many observers since prehistory. Evidence of early human civilizations using the moon as a basis to measure time in the form of an actual lunar calendar has been discovered in the ancient plains of Scotland, dating back to 8,000 B.C. Professor Samuel L. Macey of the International Society for the Study of Time in his book, Encyclopedia of Time, says that using the moon to measure the passage of seasons was evident as far back as 28,000-30,000 thousand years. Therefore, the method by which we measure the beginning and the end of the new moon phase is indeed a crucial part of determining the accuracy of any lunar calendar.

2-day old crescent moon, photographed by the author in March of 2020, Muscat, Oman

Since the Islamic months follow a lunar calendar, the start of each month is marked by the first sighting of the crescent moon. It is important to note however, that the Islamic new moon is actually different to the β€œastronomical new moon”. We define the astronomical new moon as that point when it is in conjunction with the sun, and thus it is actually too close to the sun and is very dark, for most of the lunar disc is in shadow. This point marks the beginning of measurement for the true age of the moon.

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Partial Solar Eclipse on June 21, 2020

By Hazarry bin Haji Ali Ahmad
The Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam

Bandar Seri Begawan – A perfect alignment of the 3 celestial bodies, Earth-Moon-Sun, will occur on Sunday June 21, 2020, resulting in a spectacular annular solar eclipse which can only be view from specific areas on Earth.

Global visibility of June 21, 2020 Solar Eclipse. Red line indicates area experiencing annular eclipse, while regions within the blue lines will only see partial eclipse of the sun.

The annular phase of this solar eclipse will be visible from parts of Africa including the Central African Republic, Congo, and Ethiopia; Asia in Yemen, Oman, south of Pakistan and northern India, China including Taiwan. You must be located within the narrow path of annularity represented on the map above by a red line (about 11,400 km long and 21 km width), where people in these areas will see the characteristic “ring of fire”.

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Tiada Lagi Lintasan Komet C/2019 Y4 ATLAS

Terkini (22 April 2020) – Komet Atlas yang pada mulanya menjadi sangat terang setelah baru 4 bulan ditemui kini telah hancur berkecai. Itulah sifat komet yang sukar untuk diramalkan, jadi ia tidak mengejutkan bahawa komet itu berpecah. Komet tersebut telah menjadi serpihan yang lebih kecil sehingga ia menjadi mustahil untuk melihatnya.

Gambar Komet ATLAS C/2019 Y4 telah pecah yang dirakam oleh teleskop angkasa Hubble pada 20 April 2020. (Sumber: Ye Quanzhi (叢泉志)
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2020 Apr 17 A Spectacular Cosmic Parade

Bandar Seri Begawan – Three planets and moon all aligned and visible to the naked eyes before dawn today, Friday, April 17, 2020. Here are some amazing moments caught by stargazers around Brunei:

[1] Very bright Jupiter at top, Saturn in the middle, Mars at bottom with the Moon below it, plus vividly milky way background (Photo by Hazarry @zrryahmad of PABD from Keriam, Tutong)

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Meteor lights up Brunei sky

April 14, 2020
James Kon of Borneo Bulletin

A large green meteor streaked through the sky over Brunei Darussalam last Sunday, with many excited observers taking to social media to discuss the natural phenomenon.
The passing meteor was photographed at 7.27pm by Mohammad Nazhif bin Haji Abdul Khalid, who was taking pictures of the planet Venus in the clear sky at his home in Kampong Lambak.

He recalled, β€œAt first, I thought that it was a fireworks display, but there were no exploding sounds.”

A large green meteor streaked through the sky over Brunei Darussalam last Sunday, with many excited observers taking to social media to discuss the natural phenomenon. Photo shows the passing meteor photographed by a resident in Kampong Lambak. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NAZHIF BIN HAJI ABDUL KHALID
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