Stardom for Brunei’s gemstones

by Aziz Idris
Borneo Bulletin’s Features
August 3, 2020

The next time you look up at the night sky and see a blinking star, chances are you are staring at Gumala, a star in the southern constellation of Sagittarius.

Brunei Darussalam was among the 112 countries that took their love for astronomy to the next level when it entered a competition by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to name recently-discovered exoplanets and their stars.

The campaign, dubbed the IAU100 NameExoWorlds, was held to mark the organisation’s 100th year anniversary and attracted over 780,000 entries.

The participants were encouraged to name their celestial objects in their respective languages in conjunction with the United Nations’ (UN’s) International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Pengiran Mohammad Rezal bin Pengiran Haji Osman drew inspiration from Brunei’s precious gemstones when naming the star and the exoplanet. PHOTO: AZIZ IDRIS

IAU, the only organisation mandated to name everything in space, said the star was named Gumala and the exoplanet Mastika, thanks to the participation of Bruneian Pengiran Mohammad Rezal bin Pengiran Haji Osman.

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Gerhana Matahari Memukau

Oleh Lyna Mohamad
Gambar oleh Bahyiah Bakir
Media Permata

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, 21 JUN – Pemerhati dan peminat tegar astronomi di seluruh dunia termasuk di negara ini hari ini bukan sahaja berpeluang menyaksikan fenomena alam, gerhana matahari anulus (cincin), malahan terpukau dan teruja dengan keunikannya.

Fenomena yang berlaku ketika bulan melintasi antara bumi dan matahari – tidak terlalu hampir dengan bumi dan tidak terlindung sepenuhnya daripada cahaya, meninggalkan kesan lingkaran yang boleh dilihat.

Gerhana matahari cincin itu berlaku dalam tempoh satu atau dua tahun dan hanya boleh dilihat dari laluan sempit melintasi planet. Ketika fenomena itu berlaku, beberapa kawasan akan bergelap selama satu minit 22 saat.

Negara Brunei Darussalam melalui Persatuan Astronomi Brunei Darussalam (PABD) turut menantikan fenomena ini dan mengadakan penstriman langsung di platform media sosial mereka.

Gerhana matahari cincin yang dirakamkan di kediaman ahli PABD di Kiarong.
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Bruneians Witness Partial Solar Eclipse

By Lyna Mohamad, Borneo Bulletin (June 23, 2020)

Skywatchers across Brunei Darussalam were treated to a partial solar eclipse, which began yesterday at 3.10pm.

Many used special solar glasses to witness the rare annular event at outdoor locations, while others watched it through a livestreamed session conducted from 2.45pm to 5.30pm by the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD).

A member of Brunei Darussalam Astronomical Society, Haji Mohd Azri bin Haji Ibrahim speaks to the Bulletin

The livestream for the Brunei-Muara District was carried out at the Kiarong residence of PABD member Haji Mohd Azri bin Haji Ibrahim, who had even set up viewing equipment for
eager observers.

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PABD is on Telegram App Channel

PABD is bringing astronomy closer to the general public. Due to massive response, we have setup a Telegram channel for instant communication & reaching out to a wider astronomy community in Brunei Darussalam.

Join our new friendliest online messaging platform with active PABD members on topics including current astronomy news, falak syarie, stargazing activities, astronomy beginners and tips, astrophotography and more!

Join our Telegram Channel now via

Dec 26 2019 Annular Solar Eclipse Expedition Brunei – Kuching

Join the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) for this exclusive 6-days Ring of Fire Expedition to Kuching from December 22 until 27, 2019 to witness the annular eclipse of the sun from Masjid Bandar Sri Aman, a collaboration with Jawatankuasa Pengurusan Masjid Sri Aman. An annular solar eclipse is in itself special, but to possibly experience it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Space Talk @ the Box on Dec 14, 2019

The moon shadow of the annular solar eclipse is going to pass through the Arabian Peninsula, southern India, Borneo, Philippines and Guam this month (December). To mark the occasion of the December 2019 celestial event, the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) will host a Space Talk at the Box, Telanai Avenue on Saturday, December 14, 2019. This event is free and open to the public.

PABD will give a presentation about what to expect with the eclipse, why solar eclipses are so rare and spectacular to see, where should you be in this region to view the eclipse for its annularity and what the view will be like in Brunei Darussalam. Safe viewing and photography tips will also be discussed, and the PABD will also hand out special glasses for viewing the eclipse (limited to only the first 30 group of family/individual at the talk).

If you are curious about the cosmos of many mysteries, then the second presentation by PABD will explain one of the universe’s unsolved mysteries – Dark Matter.

Astronomy enthusiasts, Members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam and general public are welcome to join, and registration of the event since the space is limited via

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19-Hour Old New Moon Crescent of Rabiulakhir 1441H Sighted

Bandar Seri Begawan – The new 19-hour old crescent moon of Rabiulakhir was sighted today, on Wednesday evening (November 27th) by moon-sighters of Brunei Darussalam Astronomical Society at 6.31 pm, when the curved light was less than 2 degrees above the horizon.

The western sky was cloudy near the horizon at sunset, scopes were aligned using the 3 planet – Venus, Saturn and Jupiter – and unable to align using the Sun as it was most of the time behind the clouds.

Photo of a little crescent (hilal), which is an illuminated portion on the margin of the moon, behind clouds.
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