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Eta Aquariid meteor shower, Ramadan moon sighting, and more: What to expect in the night sky this May

To those who were let down by last April’s washed outLyrid meteor shower—fret not. There’s another major meteor shower coming our way this May.

And while it’s an annual night sky treat, this year’s Eta Aquariid meteor shower finds itself in a special circumstance—its peak coincides with the customary Moon sighting activity to determine the start of the holy month of Ramadan. read more

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#AstronomerStruggles You Ought To Know

Written by Aldrin Gabuya

Al Sadeem Astronomy’s resident astronomer lets you in on some of the unavoidable #AstronomerStruggles that amateurs—and even experts—often endure all in the name of astronomy. read more

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What Happens If You Fall Into A Black Hole?

On Wednesday, a major breakthrough in the field of astrophysics thrilled humankind when a team of scientists unveiled the first-ever photo of a super massive black hole. read more

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ASTRO LOG: APRIL 2019 SKY EVENTS TO LOOK FORWARD TO

The change of seasons ushered in days of gloomy weather; let’s hope this won’t drag on until April!

There’s a meteor shower (Lyrid meteor shower) to watch out for in the middle of the month, but because of the presence of the Moon at the night sky, spotting the Lyrids will be pretty tough for avid sky watchers and observers.

Planets such as Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will be still be spotted near the Moon in the coming days, and many brilliant prominent winter constellations and deep-sky objects will be seen during early evening hours.

Sky treats such as the nebulae in Orion constellation (Great Orion, Flame, and Horsehead), and galaxies like the ones in and the Leo Triplet and Sunflower Galaxy still await amateur astronomers and astrophotographers. read more

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WITNESS THE “SUPER WORM EQUINOX MOON” ON MARCH 21ST

Heads up, sky watchers! On March 21st, the appearance of the last in the Supermoon trifecta this year happens Thursday, which also coincides with the much-awaited change of seasons.

This change of seasons is signaled by the March (Vernal) Equinox.This marks the beginning of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere and Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.What happens on this day is that, the Earth’s axis is neither tilted towards nor away from the Sun, resulting in aroughly equal duration of day and night in all areas of the Earth (approximately 12 hours). read more

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ASTRO LOG: YOUR MARCH 2019 SKY AT A GLANCE

Avid sky-watchers and dedicated astronomy enthusiasts in the United Arab Emirates can bid goodbye to biting cold nights as March ushers in the beginning of spring.

With temperatures beginning to warm, staying outdoors at night will definitely be more enjoyable,especially during this month when the night sky has so much in store for its patrons.

Mark the 21st of March on your calendars, as the last of the Supermoon trifecta for this year will grace the night sky. read more

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The discoveries Opportunity gave to mankind

After an almost 15-year run, Mars rover Opportunity finally wrapped up its historic leg of exploration a day before Valentine’s.

“No response has been received from Opportunity since Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018), amid a planet-encircling dust storm on Mars,” NASA said in its log.

Sol, which is short for Solar day, is the measurement NASA used to tell the time it takes Mars to revolve once around its own axis.

read more

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ASTRO LOG: Your February Sky Treats

February opens with the gradual exit of the Moon from the night sky, which means observers will start the second month with a trove of prominent bright winter constellations such as Orion, Taurus, Auriga and Gemini and spring constellations like Ursa Major, Leo and Virgo after midnight.

Several deep-sky objects such as the Orion Nebula, Flame and Horsehead Nebula, Crab Nebula, Messier 53 and Pinwheel Galaxy can also be observed under relatively clear, moonless and dark skies.

Planets Mars and Uranus are going to be a regular sight right after sunset, while the bright planets Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn will be gracing the night sky in the early morning hours until sunrise.

Meanwhile, there will be barely or no sighting at all of planets Mercury and Neptune because of their nearness to the Sun as seen in the sky.

Days are still long, with late sunrises from 6:46 to 7:04 in the morning and early sunsets from 6:04 P.M. to 6:24 in the evening.

For more serious sky watching,Al Sadeem Astronomy has prepared below a calendar for February’s sky events.All dates and times were given in UAE Local Time (UTC+4).

read more

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ASTRO LOG: What to Watch Out for This January 2019

As the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) coldest month ushers in, a number of well-known winter constellations and deep-sky objects will spruce up the January sky.

The Orion nebula, Perseus cluster, Andromeda galaxy, and the brilliant open star cluster of Pleiades known as the “Seven Sisters” in Taurus (The Bull), will be more prominent in the winter sky, and can be seen as early as 7:30 P.M.

Notable star patterns, or astronomical asterisms, like the Winter Triangle and Winter Hexagon, will also adorn January winter nights.

Planets Mars and Uranus, meanwhile,will be visible after sunset until an hour before midnight. The brighter planets Venus and Jupiter can be observed at 4:30 in the morning until sunrise.

For Mercury fans (not the singer), as well as those of Saturn and Neptune, January will not be a favorable month to observe these planets because of their significant nearness to the Sun.

Expect even shorter days in January with late sunrises from 7:04 to 7:06 in the morning and early sunsets from 5:45 P.M. to 6:07 in the evening.

For more serious sky watching,Al Sadeem Astronomy has prepared below a calendar for January’s sky events.All dates and times were given in UAE Local Time (UTC+4). read more

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Geminids Wowed Skywatchers at Al Sadeem Observatory

More than 300 visitors gathered at the Al Sadeem Observatory in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi last Thursday, December 13, to witness the peak of this year’s best meteor shower.

The Geminid meteor shower is a much-awaited yearly event for astronomy enthusiasts, because it boasts an average of 40 meteors per hour—the highest rate for any perennial meteor shower. read more