Taking a closer look at the night sky

Aziz Idris

The night sky is full of stories, adventures and curiosities. Not only is gazing into the sky one of many ways to encourage children to love outdoor activities, but it is also a step toward raising thoughtful, introspective, universe-conscious people.

With many families having scuttled their travel plans for the school holidays, a group of 15 children experienced a new learning adventure with stargazing at Homestay Alai Gayoh Anak Pulau (HAGAP) in the Tutong District last weekend.

Organised by HAGAP’s homestay management and facilitated by members from the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD), the session was scheduled to start at 7pm at the front lawn. However a thin blanket of clouds and a drizzle continued until dawn and put the observation on hold. Regardless, the rest of the sky was clear until sunrise.

The stargazing activity also offered children a close-up view of the solar system – the moon, red planet Mars and the morning ‘star’ Venus. A few shooting stars or meteors and satellites were also observed.

Among other astronomical highlights during the session included learning the constellations such as Cassiopeia Constellation with the nearby Andromeda galaxy, Taurus with Pleiades star cluster and Orion constellation with the glowing Orion nebula.

Children during the stargazing activity. PHOTO: AZIZ IDRIS