By Hazarry Haji Ali Ahmad, the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam
Summary: ▪ Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) has survived its closest encounter with the Sun on Sat, July 4, 2020 in its journey through the Solar System ▪ Currently, massive amount of Comet’s dust particles and water are vaporised by the Sun producing very bright coma and long tail which is visible to the naked-eyes ▪ Comet is expected to make it’s appearance in the evening twilight from July 15, 2020 in Brunei Darussalam ▪ Closest approach of Comet NEOWISE to Earth happens on Thursday, Jul 23 2020 at a distance of 0.69 AU, or 104 million km ▪ The comet orbit takes around the sun about 7,000 years, it truly is a once in a lifetime event! ▪ Use this live sky chart to locate the current comet position from our Brunei’s sky ▪ PABD members will scout the comet. Join to share your comet photos from Brunei and latest comet discussion via our Telegram Channel t.me/bruneiastronomy and discussion group t.me/AstronomyBN
Update (Sunday, 26 July 2020)
Comet Neowise bids farewell this week. There are still time to capture the comet before it gets father away from us. NEOWISE’s brightness is rapidly fading and the bright moon is interfering with comet each night, washing out the display.
Members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) had the privilege to be with Dr Ceri Powell, the Managing Director of Brunei Shell Petroleum, at House 49 in Panaga, Brunei Darussalam, for a stargazing session on July 26, 2020.
Being amongst the most influential women leader in oil and gas, Dr Powell is also an eco-activist who fascinates about the night sky. It was a golden opportunity to exchange ideas in astronomy/nature and snap this awesome group photo with a well-known scientist. It was not that difficult to capture this single shot photo with the comet in the background– simply a DSLR camera on a sturdy tripod [with a 50mm lens + some light + 5 seconds exposure + ISO1600 + clear sky]. The hardest part was to remain standstill for 5 seconds, repeat and hope for the best shot.
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.
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.
Bandar Seri Begawan – Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) is peaking brightness as it close approaching to Earth on Sat May 23, 2020, about 0.25 AU from the Sun. It is readily visible from the Northern hemisphere
Currently in the constellation of Ursa Major, the comet is easily spotted (~magnitude 9.5) and appeared as a fuzzy ball in a small telescope despite of bright moonlit sky last night (Mac 12, 2020). No clear sign of a comet tail at the moment.
Bandar Seri Begawan – The Perseid meteor shower will peak on the weekends (from August 10 till 13,2018). Weather permitting, the best time to view the wonderful spectacle from Brunei is after midnight, when the shower’s radiant is higher in the Northeastern sky from the constellation Perseus. Continue reading “Perseids on August 10 – 13: 2018 Best Meteor Shower”
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”
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.
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.
Due to the recent outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19), the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) has postponed most of our public engagement activities such as stargazing, new moon observation etc. until further notice and focus on implementing Astronomy at Home or in a small group activity. This is in view of prevention and to control the spread of the infection in Brunei Darussalam.