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

 

Spectacular Geminids meteor shower lights up Brunei Sky

SKYWATCHERS in Brunei and around the world had the opportunity to witness the annual astronomical spectacle of Geminids meteor shower last night. Every year on December 14, the Earth comes across the particles of residue from Comet 3200 Phaethon.

Upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere, these comet dusts burn and vaporise, thus producing bright meteor trails. The natural phenomenon produces rapid streaks of light or better known as shooting stars which are visible to the naked eyes. These meteors appear to radiate from a point in the sky of constellation Gemini, thus its name ‘Geminids’.

There were also reports from the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam’s Facebook page stating that some even witnessed up to six shooting stars in half an hour that night.

This wide-angled photo of the night sky showing the Geminids meteor, captured at around 11pm from Kampong Keriam, Tutong, on December 14. – HAZARRY BIN HAJI ALI AHMAD
This wide-angled photo of the night sky showing the Geminids meteor, captured at around 11 pm from Kampong Keriam, Tutong, on December 14. – HAZARRY BIN HAJI ALI AHMAD
This wide-angled photo of the night sky showing the Geminids meteor, captured at around 11 pm from Kampong Keriam, Tutong, on December 14. – HAZARRY BIN HAJI ALI AHMAD
This wide-angled photo of the night sky showing the Geminids meteor, captured at around 11 pm from Kampong Keriam, Tutong, on December 14. – HAZARRY BIN HAJI ALI AHMAD
A close-up view of a bright Geminids meteor trail shining against the stars of the constellation Orion
A close-up view of a bright Geminids meteor trail shining against the stars of the constellation Orion

// Press release – Borneo Bulletin

‘Blood moon’ awes stargazers

Partially eclipsed moon during the lunar eclipse on Oct 8, 2014 - Photo by Hazarry bin Haji Ali Ahmad
Partially eclipsed moon during the lunar eclipse on Oct 8, 2014 – Photo by Hazarry bin Haji Ali Ahmad

STARGAZERS in the Americas and Asia were treated to a lunar eclipse Wednesday, a celestial show that bathed the moon in a reddish tint to create a “blood moon”.

In Brunei Darussalam, however, stargazers were disappointed not to catch the spectacle as clouds hindered the view of the eclipse.

The phenomenon can only been witness for a few minutes when the  moon was in between the clouds.

Spectacular total lunar eclipse tomorrow evening

A TOTAL lunar eclipse is set to occur tomorrow, October 8, and will be visible in Brunei between 6.03pm and 9.32pm.

It will be a spectacular astronomical event as the entire moon will pass through the earth’s shadow known as the umbra.

The eclipse will be visible in many areas of the world such as East Europe, much of Asia, Australia, North America, South America, Pacific and Atlantic.

In Brunei, eclipse watchers should be able to see the reddish-brown full moon rising low in the eastern horizon at 6.03 pm. The phenomenon occurs when the earth blocks most of the sunlight to the moon.

The moon is positioned deep in the Earth’s shadow at maximum eclipse at 6.55pm.

Sunlight will gradually reach the Moon’s surface as the Earth’s umbra will no longer cover the Moon at 7.22pm. The Moon will return slowly to its normal brilliance when the Penumbral Eclipse ends at 9.32 pm.

Moon altitude during the eclipse
Moon altitude during the eclipse

Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipse is completely safe to watch with the naked eye. We should be able to witness this phenomenon from our homes if the weather is clear.

Eclipse watchers are advised to go to a place with a clear view to the eastern horizon and a clear line of sight to the Moon to observe the natural phenomenon.

The next total eclipse visible in the Sultanate will not occur until January 31, 2018. On April 4 next year, Brunei will experience another lunar eclipse but it will be a partial one.

 

// For press release

Astronomy Application: An Easy Way to Determine Kiblat Direction on July 16

Facing west of Brunei, the method of determining the Kiblat using shadow of column during the "istiwa adzam" in Makkah.
Facing west of Brunei, the method of determining the Kiblat using shadow of column during the “istiwa adzam” in Makkah.

Above: Facing west of Brunei, the method of determining the Kiblat using shadow of column during the “istiwa adzam” in Makkah.

Bandar Seri Begawan – On July 16 of each year, at 5:28 pm, the sun will be at Zenith and exactly above the Kaabah, Makkah.

This phenomenon known asistiwa adzam” can be used by Muslims from almost all over the world as an easy Islamic astronomical method to determine the exact direction of Kiblat.

In a year, the sun will be directly above the Kaabah twice, on every 28th May at 5:16 pm and again on July 16th at 5:28 pm Brunei time.

Follow the following ways to check the Qiblah from your area:

1. You must use a straight objects such as a pole or side of the house. It must be vertical by checking with weights tied to a thread (plumbline).

2. The object must not be in places under shade, for example do not put under the tree or in the house. However, it must be be placed in areas that receive direct sunlight, for example, in a spacious yard.

3. Exactly at 5:28 pm July 16, the line shadow produced by the sun is the Kiblat direction which is facing toward the sun.

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

Catch the close pairing of the Moon and Venus

Bandar Seri Begawan – There will be a close pairing of the moon and the planet Venus, a perfect chance to all stargazers to enjoy witnessing an astronomical event with family and friends this Hari Raya.

Close Pairing of Moon and Venus on August 09 and 10, 2013
Close Pairing of Moon and Venus on August 09 and 10, 2013

Gaze the western horizon on these days August 9 and 10, 2013, just after sunset, at around 6:35 pm and you will be greeted with a beautiful sight: the crescent moon beside a very bright star-like object, the planet Venus. The event will be visible to the naked eye and does not require any special equipment. Clear sky and Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Partial lunar eclipse on April 26 2013

The April 26, 2013 partial lunar eclipse will be visible over Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Only a tiny sliver of the moon will be covered by the Earth’s umbral shadow at maximum eclipse. Eclipse will be visible from 2.03 am till 6.11 am in Brunei.

Partial Eclipse of the Moon
The entire eclipse is visible from Brunei Darussalam.

Eclipse Time
Moon enters penumbra: 2013 Apr 26 02:01:31
Moon enters umbra: 2013 Apr 26 03:51:35
Maximum eclipse: 2013 Apr 26 04:07:16
Moon leaves umbra: 2013 Apr 26 04:23:07
Moon leaves penumbra: 2013 Apr 26 06:13:05

Magnitude and Duration
Umbral magnitude: 0.020
Penumbral magnitude: 1.011
Duration of umbral phase: 0h 31m 32s
Duration of penumbral phase: 4h 11m 34s