The Universe - Yours to Discover.

       to our newsletter for monthly updates on Astronomy in Singapore!


Mars Watch 2010

January 27th, 2010

Mars Watch 2010

Posted by
Categories: Celestial Events

Partial Solar Eclipse @ Science Centre’s Observatory

January 7th, 2010

IYA Partial Solar Eclipse

Date: 15th Jan (Fri)
Time: 3:30pm - 5pm
Venue: The Observatory @ Omni-Theatre
Fee: Free admission (No registration required)

The partial solar eclipse will commence at 3:10pm, reach a maximum around 4:26pm and end at 5:32pm.

Please remember never to look at the Sun directly with the naked eye.

Posted by
Categories: Celestial Events, Stargazings & Observations, Talks & Lectures

Geminids Meteor Shower

December 6th, 2009


Occurring every year in mid-December, the Geminid meteor shower is commonly referred to as the most reliable meteor shower of the year. That is, it almost always puts on a great show!

The Geminid meteor shower is sure to be a stunning show this year, as the Moon will not be visible at night, so its glow will not impede your meteor viewing ability. In addition, the Geminids' radiant is favorably positioned for most viewers at this time of year. In order to see the most meteors, I suggest the following tips:

  • The Geminid meteor shower has a very broad maximum peak. Because of this, the night on which you view the meteors isn't critical. You will of course, see more meteors on the peak nights. This year the Geminid meteor shower's peak is the night of December 13th-14th, 2009.
  • The best time to view a meteor shower is in the late night to early morning hours. The best time to view a meteor shower typically begins around 2 AM. This is because as the Earth rotates toward dawn, the forward velocity of the planet adds to the linear velocity of the surface and atmosphere. This has the effect of "sweeping up" more meteors.
  • If you're not normally awake at 2 AM, like many people, simply go to sleep very early and set an alarm clock to wake you up to view the meteor shower. Trust me on this point, it is definitely worth it.
  • The Geminid meteor shower's radiant is right near the twin bright stars Castor and Pollux in Gemini. Click the image at top right to see a map (thanks to Stellarium). The trick, however, isn't to look towards the radiant, but to keep your eyes on the whole sky. While it's impossible to look at the whole sky, just keep your eyes scanning and alert. This increases your chances of seeing a fleeting meteor or one out of the corner of your eye.
  • Darkness is key to proper meteor shower viewing. If you live in a city or other light polluted area, try going to a dark sky site to truly experience a meteor shower. You might be surprised how close a dark sky site is to you! Here are some tips on finding a dark sky near you.
  • Keep comfortable, too! I've found the best way to watch meteor showers is either laying down in a sleeping bag, or on an Adirondack or other reclining lawn chair. This allows you to keep your eyes on the sky without straining your neck!
  • Keep safe! If you're traveling to an unknown or unfamiliar area to watch the meteor shower, don't travel alone! Take a buddy with you. Not only is this great for safety, but meteor showers should be a social event, and are fun to share with a friend!
  • Green lasers are great for pointing out celestial objects. I use one to point out objects to people, and it works much better than trying to point with your hand. Just be careful with it and do not use a laser more powerful than 5 mW.
  • Finally, if you're feeling ambitious, take pictures! This is a real challenge, but if you're up to it, it's a very rewarding challenge. You'll need a tripod and a camera that can take long exposures. Set your exposure for somewhere around 30 seconds and let it record the whole sky. If a meteor crosses the field of view, it will be captured, and you can keep it forever!

So using these tips, you can get the most out of your Geminid viewing experience!

From Universe Today

Posted by
Categories: Celestial Events

Geminids Star Party

November 7th, 2009

Come and join MPASTRO as they organise the Geminids Star Party! It is one of the best meteor showers to catch, as well as a chance to get together! This star party will be held on 11 Dec - 12 Dec. More details to be announced later.

Posted by
Categories: Celestial Events, Stargazings & Observations

Perseids Star Party

November 7th, 2009

MPASTRO is organising the Perseids Star Party over the weekend (14 Aug - 15 Aug), quite close to the actual peak, so do join fellow enthusiasts in observation! More details will be announced closer to the date.

Posted by
Categories: Celestial Events

Lyrids Star Party

November 5th, 2009

On 17 Apr - 18 Apr 2010, MPASTRO will be organising the Lyrids Star Party. Do check back for more details closer to the event.

Posted by
Categories: Celestial Events, Stargazings & Observations

Leonids Meteor Shower

November 3rd, 2009


Leonids' Radiant Map

From Wes Stone's Skytour:


Predicted Maximum: November 17, ~21:00 UT (=Nov. 17, 1:00pm PST; Nov. 17, 4:00pm EST)
Moon: New Moon (no interference)

WHEN TO WATCH: The predicted outburst, perhaps with rates of 100-500 Leonids per hour, strongly favors Asian observers, who should watch on the morning of November 18. North American observers should especially try to cover the morning of Tuesday, November 17 in case of unusual activity leading up to this peak. The Moon will be completely out of the picture and will not cause any problems. Just keep radiant elevation in mind wherever you're observing from. The radiant rises between 10pm and midnight for the bulk of the Northern Hemisphere. Leonid activity will be nonexistent before this time, and relatively very low for a couple of hours thereafter. Morning hours tend to produce the best rates, although the few earthgrazing Leonids seen around radiant-rise can be very impressive.

The Leonids are very fast meteors.  The shower is active at a low "background" level for about a week from November 14-21. Quite a few sporadic and minor-shower meteors join the cast, especially in the predawn hours.

From Science@NASA:

Astronomers from Caltech and NASA say a strong shower of Leonid meteors is coming in 2009. Their prediction follows an outburst on Nov. 17, 2008, that broke several years of "Leonid quiet" and heralds even more intense activity next November.

"On Nov. 17, 2009, we expect the Leonids to produce upwards of 500 meteors per hour," says Bill Cooke of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. "That's a very strong display."

see captionForecasters define a meteor storm as 1000 or more meteors per hour. That would make the 2009 Leonids "a half-storm," says Jeremie Vaubaillon of Caltech, who successfully predicted a related outburst just a few weeks ago.

On Nov. 17, 2008, Earth passed through a stream of debris from comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. The gritty, dusty debris stream was laid down by the Leonids' parent comet more than five hundred years ago in 1466. Almost no one expected the old stream to produce a very strong shower, but it did. Observers in Asia and Europe counted as many as 100 meteors per hour.

Vaubaillon predicted the crossing with one-hour precision. "I have a computer program that calculates the orbits of Leonid debris streams," he explains. "It does a good job anticipating encounters even with very old streams like this one."

The Nov. 17, 2008 outburst proved that the 1466 stream is rich in meteor-producing debris, setting the stage for an even better display in 2009.

On Nov. 17, 2009, Earth will pass through the 1466 stream again, but this time closer to the center. Based on the number of meteors observed in 2008, Vaubaillon can estimate the strength of the coming display: five hundred or more Leonids per hour during a few-hour peak centered on 21:43 UT.

"Our own independent model of the debris stream agrees," says Cooke. "We predict a sub-storm level outburst on Nov. 17, 2009, peaking sometime between 21:34 and 21:44 UT."

The timing favors observers in Asia, although Cooke won't rule out a nice show over North America when darkness falls hours after the peak. "I hope so," he says. "It's a long way to Mongolia."

Many readers will remember the great Leonid showers of 1998-2002. The best years (1999 and 2001) produced storms of up to 3000 Leonids per hour. The 2009 display won’t be so intense. Instead, if predictions are correct, next year's shower could resemble the 1998 Leonids, a "half-storm"-level event caused by a stream dating from 1333. That old stream turned out to be rich in nugget-sized debris that produced an abundance of fireballs. Many observers consider the 1998 Leonids to be the best they've ever seen.

Could 2009 be the same? Vaubaillon expects a similar number of meteors but fewer fireballs. If the models are correct, the 1466 stream in Earth’s path contains plenty of dust but not so many nuggets, thus reducing the fireball count. On the bright side, the Moon will be new next Nov. 17th so nothing will stand in the way of the shower reaching its full potential.

Posted by
Categories: Celestial Events

Galilean Nights 2009

October 3rd, 2009



The Orionids are fast meteors, perhaps a bit faint on average but capable of producing fireballs.

Date: 23 Oct 2009 (Friday)

Time: 1900hrs– 2130hrs

Venue: Marine Parade Community Club / Woodlands Community Club (simultaneous)

Date: 24 Oct 2009 (Saturday)

Time: 1400hrs – Overnight

Venue: Woodlands Community Club / Marina Barrage (2000 hrs onwards)

Registration is required for the 24 Oct event. To register, send an email ( stating which talk you are attending and taking the shuttle service, with the total number of participants (name, sex, NRIC). Participants who stay overnight at Marina Barrage will need to complete the indemnity form and submit on event day.

Please refer to the AG Astro website for the detailed itinerary and more details.

Posted by
Categories: Celestial Events, Stargazings & Observations

Astrobash XXIV

October 3rd, 2009


Come this December, NUSAS will organise a 3D2N trip to Bintan Island!

This overseas stargazing trip to catch the Geminids Meteor Shower organised by NUSAS is available to all at a very affordable cheap price of $160 ($150 for members and ex-Astrobashers)! This year, we will be watching it during its peak, and with the new moon in place, the night sky will simply be spectacular!

Come join us in the fun! Limited Places Only, Sign up Early!

Here are the details of the trip:

Place: Nirwana Beach Club, Bintan Island
Date: Mon, 14th - Wed, 16th December, 2009
- Opportunity to catch the Geminids Meteor Shower during its peak!
- 2 full nights of Stargazing!
- Beach Activities, Many Sea Sports, Games (Free n Easy in the day)
- Loads of fun!!

- $160 (Non-Members)
- $150 (Members / Ex-AstroBashers)
- Optional: Additonal $22 for AIG Travel Insurance

Well, with a very exciting trip waiting for you at the end of this semester, what are you waiting for? Register at with us for AstroBash XXIV NOW!

For enquiries, please contact:
Steve - 96361250 -
Esther -

Start: Monday, December 14, 2009 at 8:00am
End Time: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 6:00am
Location: Nirwana Beach Club, Bintan Island
Phone: 96361250

Signups have closed. For latest updates, please visit

Posted by
Categories: Camps & Trips, Celestial Events, Stargazings & Observations

Punggai Orionids Astronomy Trip

October 3rd, 2009

Hi Sir,

This Oct 23/10/09 to 25/10/09. Friday to Sunday.

This time we will see the Orionid shower(weather permitting)

This time we only have four chalets left.

Limited to only 20 peoples. First come basic.

Cost is S$130.00 per person for 5 sharing per chalet.

Interest please e mail me at

Closing date : 15/10/09

Thank you, Carole

Re : Punggai Astronomy Trip,

Date : 25/9/09 to 27/09/2009

Day 1

We leave on Friday night about 8 or 9pm. All will meet at pint(to be inform)

We go by 12 seat van than will take 10 persons with our equipment.

We go thought the woodland causeway or clear Singapore side and

Malaysia side. Travel along the way, we stop at petrol station for you to buy

For food tidbit.  On reaching the Punggai resort it wills late night, check

in chalet. If the night is clear, set-up telescope to do your observation the night sky.

Day 2

Morning breakfast (Buffet). Free and easy for you to enjoy

the morning Walk/photo taken.  Talk on Astronomy (on request).

Lunch and evening Dinner time. After that set-up telescope and

Start night sky observation and taken photography. Weather permitting.

Day 3

Morning breakfast and start packing your equipment and personal item.

Van will pick us at 10.00am. Travel back to Singapore.

Interest , please email to me at

Closing date :15/10/09



Posted by
Categories: Camps & Trips, Celestial Events, Stargazings & Observations, Talks & Lectures