The Brightest Comet in Years is visible in Brunei Now

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.

A wonderful evening with the Neowise comet for a lifetime’s keepsake! (Photo by the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam )

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.

Continue reading “The Brightest Comet in Years is visible in Brunei Now”

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)
Continue reading “Comet SWAN (C/2020 F8) is Brightening Rapidly”

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 (叶泉志)
Continue reading “Tiada Lagi Lintasan Komet C/2019 Y4 ATLAS”

Potential Bright Naked Eye Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) in Mid-May 2020?!

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.

Tiny fuzzy ball in the sky (indicated by arrow) is visible in a small telescope. Image by Hazarry of PABD from Brunei Darussalam on March 12, 2020 at 23:00 (UTC+8)
Continue reading “Potential Bright Naked Eye Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) in Mid-May 2020?!”

Brilliant Geminid Meteor Shower Dazzles Brunei Sky

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”

25 December 2014: Comet Lovejoy from Brunei (Update)

Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei on Dec 25 2014 - Hazarry bin Haji Ali Ahmad
Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei on Dec 25 2014

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.

Orion Astroview 120 ST mounted on the iOprton AltAz
Orion Astroview 120 ST mounted on the iOprton AltAz

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.

Comet Lovejoy C2014 grazes Brunei sky

Dec 23, 2014. DARK MOONLESS SKY TONIGHT and Comet Lovejoy C2014 was positioned high above our Brunei sky at around mid-night.

Recently in August this year, An Australian amateur astronomer, Terry Lovejoy, discovered his fifth comet, C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy).

The photograph of the Comet was captured from Tutong, Brunei Darussalam last night. It appeared amazingly bright through a telescope and features a greenish coma with a faint tail.

Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei
Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei

Based on the image above and comparing the magnitudes of the background stars, the comet is currently at about magnitude +5.

At the moment, the comet is hardly visible to the naked eyes if you are in a small city with light pollution. Hence binoculars or a telescope is required to view it.

Reports from astronomy communities said that the comet is still brightening. The comet will be still viewable throughout January next year and it will be at maximum brightness by mid-January 2015.

Read more info about this comet here.

Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei
Comet Lovejoy C2014 from Brunei

 

A guide to photograph Comet ISON tomorrow

Space Weather News for Nov. 14, 2013 http://spaceweather.com/ COMET ISON OUTBURST: Observers around the world are reporting a sharp increase in the brightness of sundiving Comet ISON. Formerly dim, it is now on the threshold of naked-eye visibility. Comet ISON is plunging toward the sun for a perilous pass through the solar atmosphere on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28th). This could be the first of many brightening events as intensifying solar heat erodes material away from the comet’s nucleus. UPDATE: November 28, 2013 ALERT: Unofficial report Comet ISON is definitely into negative magnitudes as seen in LASCO C3. ISON is currently not visible to observers as it is located behind the sun.

20131123 Comet ISON
20131123 Comet ISON

2009 Feb 21 Comet Lulin Photo from Brunei

The Eastern sky on 21 Feb 2009 at 12.30 am from Lubok Pulau, Tutong. Photo reveals comet Lulin is already visible despite of light polluted sky. Canon EOS 450D with Lens Kit 18mm at 30 sec f/4 ISO 1600.
The Eastern sky on 21 Feb 2009 at 12.30 am from Lubok Pulau, Tutong. Photo reveals comet Lulin is already visible despite of light polluted sky. Canon EOS 450D with Lens Kit 18mm at 30 sec f/4 ISO 1600.

Saturday – This morning, the sky offered an excellent chance for a comet hunting as most of the sky was clear. The search for the comet Lulin began by identifying the star Spica, and hopped to Zaniah of Virgo. A few degree below it, the fuzzy green comet can be seen easily to the naked eyes already despite of lights glowing from small towns.

This week, the Comet (Lulin C/2007 N3) will make a closest approach to the earth on Feb 24. It should be positioned high in the sky at midnight. I urge everyone not to miss this rare opportunity to scan the sky for the comet.