Stargazers witness Perseid meteor shower

Aziz Idris

Seventeen members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) held an overnight observation on Wednesday, in the Sumbiling Eco Village of Temburong District, to catch a glimpse of shooting stars for the annual Perseid meteor shower.

Despite moonlight interference and cloudy skies that night, the PABD members spotted five bright Perseid meteors and fireballs.

The meteor shower of the year was expected to reach its peak on Wednesday night into the early hours of yesterday morning, with the best viewing expected just before dawn. However this year’s shower was accompanied by a last-quarter moon, making the skies less for ideal meteor viewing.

This was also evident for many parts around Brunei Darussalam, as the clouds also obscured the popular celestial light show.

PABD members also held a video conferencing with regional amateur astronomers from Persatuan Astronomi dan Falak Negeri Kelantan and Sabah Stargazers, to update meteor shower observation outcomes and exchange ideas on astronomy.

A Milky Way hunting activity was also organised during the event, as well as stargazing, with bright Jupiter and Saturn planets in the spotlight. The observation site offered a good view of the glowing white band of starlight of the galaxy.

The observation concluded at dawn, with a spectacular pre-sunrise celestial pairing of the half-moon passing close to the star cluster Pleiades (or Seven Sisters) in the constellation Taurus.

Seventeen members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) gathered at Sumbiling Eco Village of Temburong District to catch a glimpse of shooting stars for the annual Perseid meteor shower. Despite moonlight interference and cloudy skies, they spotted five bright Perseid meteors and fireballs. PHOTO: PABD