The Astronomical Society of Brunei (PABD) on Saturday night gathered night sky enthusiasts at Warisan Puk Belalan in Kampong Bukit Udal, Tutong District to catch a glimpse of our nearest neighbour in space – the moon.
The gathering was the society’s first participation in the International Observe the Moon Night celebration that has been held annually around the world since 2010 as a global community outreach initiative to encourage the observation, appreciation and understanding of the moon.
The yearly event, officially registered with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), brings together amateur astronomers, educators and lunar enthusiasts to either gaze at the moon with the naked eye or observe the night wonder through powerful telescopes.
The Saturday’s event in Brunei, organised by the PABD and the management of Warisan Puk Balaban, was attended by PABD Vice President Haji Abdul Aziz bin Haji Akop as the guest of honour.
Following the officially opening of the event, a recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa Selamat was carried out, led by PABD Treasurer Ustaz Shaifulbahri bin Haji Ahmad.
Telescopes and binoculars were set up at the premises to provide all-night stargazing and guided tours of the moon, planets and other celestial objects.
The event also offered members and other participants an opportunity to view the landscape of lunar mountains and craters along the line between light and dark.
There were also exciting hands-on activities, such as a mini craters experiment, a touch-the-lunar topography, a make-and-admire moon art competition for children and an astronomy quiz.
Participants were briefed on the exploration of the moon as well as cultural experiences influenced by the moon.
Meanwhile, there are more than 1,800 virtual and in-person events around the world this year in honour of the International Observe the Moon Night. The celebration falls in September and October when the moon is in the first quarter, providing a great phase for evening examination of the lunar terrain.