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EXCITING SKY EVENTS YOU NEED TO SEE THIS OCTOBER 2020

You may have noticed it already—considerably longer nights (and morning fogs) are now here and we’re experiencing them by the day. This means a little longer time to stay outdoors and marvel at the beauty of the night sky while observing social distancing measures of course!

And it seems like, after a lie-low month of September, this tenth month of 2020 is gunning for a spectacular treat to all the astronomy enthusiasts and sky watchers. The tricks up its sleeve?A major meteor shower and two full Moons that are perfectly bookending October.

But before you dive into the rundown of events, allow us to give you a heads up on when your October nights begin and end.

In the first ten days of October, the sun sets at 6:09 PM at maximum. As we approach the month-end, we can have sunsets as early as 5:43 PM. Sunrises meanwhile can occur at 6:14 AM and by end of the month, can be as late as 6:28 AM. (Also, you should note that all the dates and times here in this article are all in UAE time.)

Here are the interesting sky events you need to see this October 2020.
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What we’re working on: Research Collaborations with NYU Abu Dhabi and AAVSO

On moonless nights, we don’t just do astrophotography to capture the night sky’s beauty. We also focus more on doing research work. The darker the skies, the more precise our measurements will be for astronomical observations in photometry.

As you may already know, the Al Sadeem Observatory provides astronomy professionals and experts a trove of image data of a variety of targets that they wish to focus on. This endeavor has been made official with the two observatory codes we received from the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center (M43) and the American Association of Variable Star Observers or AAVSO (OAAA) in 2019.

Right now, we’re collaborating with the Center for Astro, Particle, and Planetary Physics at the New York University – Abu Dhabi(NYUAD) and conducting a number of optical follow-up monitoring of X-ray binaries for Asst. Prof. David M. Russell, principal investigator for galaxy components at the Center.

We’ll be monitoring V4641 Sgr and MAXIJ1820+070 until the end of September, while the V404 Cyg monitoring is until the end of October this year.

Another separate research project via the @AAVSO on ASASSN-V J181654.06-202117.6 is also on-going.

We use our MeadeLX850 16” SCT mounted on Skywatcher EQ8 pro mount and SBIG STT-8300MM CCD camera, with standard RVB filters, to gather necessary data that often takes a couple of minutes to several hours for an effective time-series analysis of a particular target. read more

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WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE NIGHT SKY THIS SEPTEMBER 2020?

We’re down to the last month of this year’s third quarter! September 2020 seems to be a tranquil time for all things astro—nothing fiery happening, probably except for the temperature… it’s still humid and hot amirite?

Yet cooler nights will soon now be upon us. As a fitting signal, an equinox is happening on September 22. On this day, the Earth’s axis is not tilted towards nor away from the Sun, which means that there will be an equal duration of day and night in all areas of the Earth—exactly 12 hours each! read more

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AL SADEEM OBSERVATORY BECOMES EXCLUSIVE MIDDLE EAST DISTRIBUTOR OF STELLINA, VAONIS’ SMART TELESCOPE AND OBSERVATION STATION

Abu-Dhabi based Al Sadeem Observatory is bringing to the Middle East a state-of-the-art technology in sky observation, which promises a unique and easier star-searching experience to astronomy enthusiasts, and to those who just want to dive right into the night sky. read more

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AUGUST 2020 SKY EVENTS: Month ushers in the Perseids, more planets and nebulae as NEOWISE bids adieu

August begins with the curtain call of a bright comet’s remarkable display last July—the Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE.

The first few days of the month will be the last chance to see Comet NEOWISE, which will be at its highest in the sky. Catching it now may prove difficult, since the days will lead up to a full moon on August 3rd but there’s no harm in trying, right? It’s a historic visit, and we won’t be seeing this cosmic wonder in our neighborhood for 6,800 years!

With the comet’s goodbye, August may seem to start off anti-climactic, but it still has a few tricks up its sleeve. Remember, the eighth month of the year is famous for hosting one of the best meteor showers!

Read on and mark your calendars for August’s sky events! read more

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JULY 2020 SKY EVENTS: A Display of Planets and a Meteor Shower

July nights may be hotter and more humid now, but this shouldn’t spoil what the vast cosmos has in store for everyone.

Yes, days will be longer still—with the Sun rising between 5:37 AM and 5:50 AM and setting between 7:06 PM to as late as 7:15 PM, but the sixth month of the year is actually a good time to observe(with the help of telescopes) a number of deep-sky objects, such as star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies—namely the Lagoon Nebula, Trifid Nebula, Rho Ophiuchi molecular complex, and the Milky Way Galaxy. read more

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THE SKY EVENTS YOU HAVE TO SEE IN JUNE 2020

Assalam alaikum, everyone! The last couple of months have been pretty uneventful astronomy-wise, but that drought is about to end as the month of June ushers in a fiery calendar of a busy night sky, beginning with—not just one but two—eclipses, a solstice, and more galaxies and planets to hunt!

So don’t worry if the nights are now shorter, with sunrises occurring between 5:33 AM and 5:37 AM, and sunsets at 7:07 PM until 7:15 PM—and days hotter. This month is sure to be bustling with a number of sky treats to see.

The planets will pop out in the sky earlier at night. Mercury can be seen in the west-northwestern portion of the sky after sunset; Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and Neptune will be seen in the late evening hours (11 PM, 12 AM, 2 AM, and 3 AM, respectively). The only planets that won’t make an appearance would be Venus and Uranus.

And did we mention that the Milky Way will be very prominent in the night sky this June? A few nebulae, too, such as the Eagle Nebula, and a slew of galaxies, like the cluster in Virgo constellation. Just make sure your place is really dark (and observing the necessary precautions against the coronavirus) when you go out and spend your time into the night.

Check out the list below to learn more about the astronomical activities happening this month: read more

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May 2020 Sky Events: Watch a meteor shower, hunt your favorite galaxy or nebula, and more!

Hotter days have already descended here in the desert as Ramadan 2020 begins, which also means having longer days and shorter nights.

For one, the sunrise now happens between 5:33 AM and 5:47 AM, while the sunsets between 6:52 PM and as late as 7:06 PM. That’s pretty long, right? But don’t let this dampen your spirits in experiencing the night sky’s jaw-dropping treats.

Star parties, open houses, and public viewings are still not possible, but while everyone’s at home practicing social distancing—and we hope that observing the sky is possible in your area—here’s a quick rundown of all things Astro that you would not want to miss this May. read more

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C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) aka “Comet ATLAS” as seen from the UAE’s first private observatory

Seeing a comet with one’s own eyes is a phenomenal experience no one would want to miss in their lifetimes.

So when the C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) was discovered on December 28, 2019, astronomy experts and enthusiasts turned their heads to the cosmic spectacle and kept an eye on it since. read more

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APRIL 2020 SKY-LENDAR OF EVENTS: Lyrids, Supermoon, and more planet pairings

The month of April is still rich with cosmic eye candies. So while everyone stays at the comfort of their homes to help alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re here to give you a heads up on when to look up the sky. Most of these can be seen from your windows or backyard (inshallah). read more