PABD Investigates Daytime Shooting Star

By Hazarry bin Haji Ali Ahmad, Haji Md Azri bin Haji Ibrahim & Husaini bin Ali Hassan,
The Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam

Bandar Seri Begawan – The Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) is still investigating after sightings of a mysterious fireball accompanied with a loud bang was reported falling to earth in broad daylight last week, January 31, 2021.

On Sunday (February 7, 2021), a team of members of the PABD conducted further examination at the locations based on firsthand sighting video and photograph of the meteor event.

PABD is also working closely with the Sabah Stargazers with the support by a group of 4×4 off-road enthusiasts known as Jimmy Sierra Brunei Community by exchanging information on the coordinates in the sky of the reported meteor.

Group photo of Jimny Sierra Brunei Community with PABD team at the location of meteor sighting during the investigation

Currently, there are two key sources of evidence based on two dashcam-footage that accidentally caught the meteor at the same time – from Kampong Kulapis, Brunei Darussalam and Penampang, Sabah. These useful information were solid proof to determine the approximate physical characteristics of the meteor and its location, which were later triangulated by statistics from another eyewitness.

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Exploded Fireball thrills Brunei

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

Bandar Seri Begawan – A huge fireball boomed over the Brunei skies and was bright enough to be seen in the daylight today, January 31, 2021.

The Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) had received numerous reports by the public who had heard a mysterious loud bang in the sky and put up a notice seeking for first-hand eyewitness accounts.

Photo: Haziq from Sengkurong eyewitnessed the blazing meteor and photographed the smoky trail with a β€œring smoke” (circled in green) which only last for few seconds before finally disappeared.

Dozens of people sighting the spectacular phenomenon of a roaring sound from a disintegrated meteor based on eyewitness testimonies. The large boom that was heard and felt from across all districts in Brunei.

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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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Luni Hijrah 1442 Calendar

The history of the lunar Islamic calendar began with the Hijrah of the Prophet Muhmmad S.A.W.

1442HNew Moon (Ijtimak)First QuarterFull MoonLast Quarter
Muharram19 Aug 2020, 10:4126 Aug 01:572 Sep 13:2210 Sep 17:25
Safar17 Sep +1 19:0024 Sep 09:542 Oct 05:0510 Oct 08:39
Rabiulawal17 Oct 03:3123 Oct 21:2231 Oct 22:498 Nov 21:46
Rabiulakhir15 Nov +1 13:0722 Nov 12:4530 Nov 17:298 Dec 08:36
Jamadilawal15 Dec 00:1622 Dec 07:4130 Dec 11:286 Jan 2021, 17:37
Jamadilakhir13 Jan +1 13:0021 Jan 05:0129 Jan 03:165 Feb 01:37
Rejab12 Feb 03:0520 Feb 02:4727 Feb 16:176 Mar 09:30
Syaaban13 Mar +1 18:2121 Mar 22:4029 Mar 02:484 Apr 18:02
Ramadan12 Apr 10:3020 Apr 14:5827 Apr S 11:314 May 03:50
Syawal12 May 02:5920 May 03:1226 May žS 19:132 Jun 15:24
Zulkaedah10 Jun +1 18:5218 Jun 11:5425 Jun S 02:392 Jul 05:10
Zulhijjah10 Jul 09:1617 Jul 18:1024 Jul 10:3631 Jul 21:15
Table shows the starting date of the Islamic day (at sunset) which commences nearly after the birth of the new lunar cycle. Traditionally, sighting of the new moon crescent marks the end of the month. Date and time of the moon phases are given in Brunei local time.
+1Β  Start of Islamic month on the next day
ž Lunar Eclipse
SΒ  Supermoon

The Islamic Hijri calendar is tied to the lunar phase cycle, with each month alternatively having either 29 or 30 days. Based on a year of 12 months, each month beginning approximately at the time of the New Moon (Ijtimak).

Salam Maal Hijrah 1442H.

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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A call to preserve Brunei’s dark sky

Borneo Bulletin’s Opinion page
August 1, 2020

First and foremost, congratulations to the Brunei Government, especially the Brunei Climate Change Secretariat (BCCS) for issuing the Brunei Darussalam National Climate Change Policy (BNCCP) recently. We look forward to the Policy as an opportunity to explore further tactics to recover our natural surroundings.

Currently, Comet NEOWISE has generated a lot of public interest, as it is the brightest comet since 1997.

However, watching this supposedly β€œbright” comet – or stargazing in general – is a real challenge in the country.

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