Thursday, June 20, 2024
28 C
Brunei Town

Starry, starry nights in Belait

Rokiah Mahmud

More than 40 stargazers spent their long weekend enjoying the wonders of the Milky Way during an astro-camping excursion in rural Belait.

The ‘Kembara Angkasa Maal Hijrah’ programme served as an astronomy outreach project to make the hobby more accessible to the Belait community.

The programme also aimed to promote astro-tourism among the local population.

The Sky Quality Meter (SQM) can reach up to a reading of 21.83 on the darkest night in Kampong Melilas.

At this scale, the Milky Way is visible, affording stargazers a spectacular sight.

Scorpius constellation seen from Kampong Melilas. PHOTO: PABD

According to the organiser, the darkness level allows enthusiasts to see the heart of the Milky Way galaxy from a pristine location.

During the session, a laser beam was used to help the stargazers identify celestial objects, such as Sagittarius and Scorpius constellations, with the Milky Way in the backdrop.

As stargazing is dependent on fair weather conditions, there were alternative activities lined up to entertain the attendees, such as quizzes on astronomy and practical lessons on astrophotography.

The week-long astronomy activity at Julangan Titah Ruman Panjang in Kampong Melilas of the Belait District was organised by the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD).

It was also supported by the Kampong Melilas Village Consultative Council and the Persatuan Kereta Tahan Lasak Brunei, in partnership with the Tourism Development Department of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism.