Mini Rolled-of-Roof Astronomical Observatory in Keriam, Tutong

Kids enjoying their first time tour of the observatory.

by Hazarry bin Haji Ali Ahmad

Welcome to My Mini Astronomical Observatory

A Photon Collecting Device and Myself
A Photon Collecting Device and Myself (in 2015)
Observatory Design
Simple sketches of the observatory

I became interested in amateur astronomy since my early teenage years, and this year in 2015 , I had built an 1.5m by 2.5m roll-off roof observatory (still waiting for a proper name) in my backyard. Well, it is more of a cozy quarter just enough to fit 2 to 3 people plus my telescopes and storage boxes.

It is fully functional and ready for astronomical observation when first completed on 1st Syawal 1436H corresponding to 18th July 2015. On that evening, observations began with imaging of the Lagoon Nebula (catalogued as Messier 8). It is a wonderful place to have a permanent setting for my scope to save time-consuming setup, avoiding damages to equipment from lugging around and  tedious alignment procedures of a telescope.

The Lagoon Nebula (M8) is a giant interstellar cloud in the constellation Sagittarius. Image by Hazarry from his backyard observatory on July 18, 2015.
The Lagoon Nebula (M8) is a giant interstellar cloud in the constellation Sagittarius. Image by Hazarry from his backyard observatory on July 18, 2015 .
Roof rolled off gives access to the sky
Rolled off roof gives access to the sky (Old Photo)
A customised observatory showing the roll off roof wheels
A customised observatory showing the roll off roof wheels (Old Photo)

Location

The observatory is located in Kampong Keriam (4.816224Β°North 114.69145Β° East), Tutong, which is about 5 minutes drive from Tutong Town and just next to Keriam Primary School. Address: #24 Simpang 442, Kampong Keriam, Tutong. TB1141. Brunei Darussalam. You can use the Bing Map above.

Site location when construction first took place
Observatory site (before construction)

Instruments

The observatory itself contains a main Orion 8″ f/8 Ritchey-ChrΓ©tien Astrograph telescope, installed in June 2018. The scope is mounted on a GOTO German Equatorial Celestron CGX computerised mount and equipped with an autoalign Celestron Starsense Technology and autoguiders. It is a great large aperture telescope for digital astrophotography of the deep sky objects and the solar system. Secondary telescopes such as an a 6-inch f/6.5 Explore Scientific AR152 refractor, Orion Astroview 100 ST plus other mini-telescopes are available to be set outside around the observatory.

A new Orion 8" f/8 Ritchey-ChrΓ©tien Astrograph telescope was installed in June 2018
A new Orion 8″ f/8 Ritchey-ChrΓ©tien Astrograph telescope was installed in June 2018
The observatory houses a 6-inch refractor on a computerized drive mount
Old photo: The observatory houses a 6-inch refractor on a computerized drive mount

Opening Hours

As an educator myself and member of the Brunei Darussalam Astronomical Society, I always promote public awareness of astronomy in Brunei Darussalam. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced amateur astronomer, enjoyment and challenges await you here.

Members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam can have access to the observatory every weekends to observe the heavens above and enjoy being as amateur astronomers.

Izuana and Bazilah, members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam, are operating the telescope on Mac 30, 2019

The observatory is open to the public, researchers, teachers and students at no fee, but subject to availability and weather. A variety of astronomical objects including the Sun, Moon, planets, double stars, nebulas, and the occasional comet are ready for viewing (weather permitting).

Since space is limited, visitors are required to make arrangement first and reservation. RSVP and for more info, please contact me at +6738820277 (Call or WhatsApp) or email at hazarry(a)hotmail.com, replace (a) with @.

Ustaz Saifulbahri (one of PABD Executive members) poses with the scope
Ustaz Saifulbahri (one of PABD Executive members) poses with the scope

Weather in Tutong, Brunei

The climate here is tropical. Tutong has a significant amount of rainfall during the year. This is true even for the driest month. The average temperature in Tutong is 27.5 Β°C. Precipitation here averages 2760 mm. So visitor is highly recommend to come using the observatory during the driest months (February until April). The driest month is March, with 129 mm of rain. With an average of 351 mm, the most precipitation falls in November.

(Source: https://en.climate-data.org/asia/brunei/tutong/tutong-36141/)

Latest Sky Quality Meter (SQM)

Latest SQM readings from the observatory
Latest NELM readings from the observatory

Celestial objects taken from the Observatory

These are some of the images taken using the scopes from the observatory:

Follow Me

Follow my personal IG @zrryahmad for latest astroimaging and observatory updates. Clear sky!

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