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Telescope

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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

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THE PACMAN NEBULA (NGC281)

NGC281 known as the Pacman Nebula taken from Al Sadeem Observatory October 12, 2018 using Vixen ED115S telescope and ZWO1600MC-cool CMOS camera mounted on Skywatcher EQ6. 2.5 hours total exposure time, stacked and post-processed in Pixinsight. (Image Credit: Al Sadeem Astronomy)

NGC281, also known as the Pacman Nebula is an emission nebula located about 9200-9500 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Cassiopeia (the queen). It is also called IC 11 or Sh2-184 using the IC and Sharpless sky catalogues respectively. Specifically, it is a bright HII region,spans about 96 light-years in diameter (a region in space where interstellar atomic hydrogen is ionized signifying active star formation) within the Milky Way’s Perseus Spiral Arm. read more

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THE WITCH’S BROOM NEBULA (NGC6960)

NGC6960 known as the Western Veil Nebula taken from Al Sadeem Observatory last July 21, 2018 using Vixen ED115S telescope and ZWO1600MC-cool CMOS camera mounted on Skywatcher EQ6. 2 hours total exposure time, stacked and post-processed in Pixinsight. (Image Credit: Al Sadeem Astronomy)

NGC6960, known as the Western Veil Nebula, is a diffuse nebula located about 1470 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus (the swan). It has multiple other designations such as the Witch’s Broom Nebula, Filamentary Nebula, Finger of God Nebula, Lacework Nebula (based on its shape resemblance) or Caldwell 34. It is a western portion of the Veil Nebula or the Cygnus Loop placed at the right wing of the swan. read more

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THE COCOON NEBULA (IC5146)

IC5146 known as the Cocoon Nebula taken from Al Sadeem Observatory last October 4-5, 2018 using GSO RC 8 inch telescope and ZWO1600MC-cool CMOS camera mounted on Skywatcher EQ6. 2.5 hour total exposure time guided. Stacked and post-processed in Pixinsight. read more

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THE IRIS NEBULA (NGC7023)

NGC7023 (Iris Nebula) taken last August 26, 2018 from Al Sadeem Astronomy Observatory using GSO RC 8-inch telescope and ZWO1600MC-Cool CMOS camera; processed in Pixinsight (Image Credit: Aldrin B. Gabuya/Al Sadeem Astronomy)

Caldwell 4 (more commonly known as Iris Nebula) is a bright reflection nebula situated about 1300 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Cepheus. It was discovered by the English astronomer William Herschel on October 18, 1794. read more

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WHAT’S UP IN THE SKY THIS OCTOBER 2018?

Summer of 2018 is officially over. Though it remains generally hot during the day, weather conditions across the UAE in night time is starting to gradually cool down. Wondering what’s going to be up in the sky for the coming month? The following is a list of astronomical events for October 2018. All dates and times were given in UAE Local Time. read more

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COMET 21P – GIACOBINI/ZINNER

Comet 21P taken from Al Sadeem Observatory last September 11, 2018 using GSO RC 8” telescope mounted on Skywatcher EQ6 pro, and astro-modified Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR camera. Stacked and processed in DeepSkyStacker and Pixinsight respectively. read more

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THE MESSIER 33 – TRIANGULUM GALAXY

The Triangulum Galaxy taken from Al Sadeem Observatory taken on September 5, 2018 using Vixen ED115S refractor telescope and ZWO1600MC camera, 1 hour and 30 minutes total exposure time, stacked and post-processed in Pixinsight. read more

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THE DUMBBELL NEBULA (MESSIER 27)

The Dumbbell Nebula (Messier 27) taken from Al Sadeem Observatory on the night of August 18-19, 2018 using GSO RC8 Telescope and ZWO1600MC-Cool CMOS Camera. Total exposure time is 51 minutes, Image stacking and processing were done in Pixinsight and Photoshop. read more