Clear skies in Brunei last night allowed for the easy viewing of a rare Mars occultation in its skies, where the Red Planet disappeared behind the crescent moon.
The phenomenon that happened for about 10 seconds at 9.29pm saw the moon passing in front of Mars creating a lunar occultation visible only from a small region of central Asia including Brunei.
Over 20 members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD), armed with telescopes, binoculars and cameras took part in a viewing at the beach front of The Empire Brunei in Jerudong last night.
According to executive committee member of PABD Nurbazilah binti Zainal Abidin, the phenomenon is rare because it will only be visible in Brunei in the next 77 years.
Bandar Seri Begawan – The bright planets – Jupiter, Saturn and Mars – together with the Waning Moon were all visible today on April 16, 2020 from Mini Astronomical Observatory in Tutong, Brunei Darussalam at predawn hours.
NASA – Although it will be years before the first humans set foot on Mars, NASA is giving the public an opportunity to send their names — stenciled on chips — to the Red Planet with NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, which represents the initial leg of humanity’s first round trip to another planet. The rover is scheduled to launch as early as July 2020, with the spacecraft expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021.
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.