Orionid Meteor Shower 2016

Some of the brightest and swiftest shooting stars will bedazzle the night sky this month during the Orionid meteor shower, which will peak this Thursday and Friday (Oct. 20-21) and continue through early November.

NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said the Orionid meteors are special because they are pieces of Comet 1P/Halley, commonly referred to as Halley's Comet. This famous comet swings by Earth once every 75 to 76 years, so most people will have a chance to see it only once in their lifetime. "But every year, you can see pieces of Halley's Comet during the Eta Aquarids [in May] and the Orionid meteor shower," Cooke said.

The Orionid meteor shower's intensity varies from year to year. This year, skywatchers can expect about 15 to 20 meteors per hour, but in some years, they have exceeded rates of 70 to 80 per hour, Cooke said. And while there may not be a lot of them in the sky this year, they're still worth checking out: Orionid meteors are known for being some of the fastest and brightest, sprinting across the sky at a relative speed of about 148,000 mph (238,000 km/h). "If you blink, you might miss them," Cooke said. 

When to see them

This year's Orionid meteors can already be seen; you have a chance to spot them any night from Oct. 2 to Nov. 7. But the best part of the show will happen between Oct. 20 and Oct. 21, during the meteor shower's peak. Early morning, before dawn, is the best time to look for the meteors, Cooke said.

Moonlight could make the meteors a bit difficult to spot. October's full "supermoon" will rise just a few days before the meteor shower's peak viewing times. Meteors will streak through the sky at a rate of up to 20 per hour this year, but skywatchers can expect to see closer to 15 meteors per hour with the moonlight obstructing the view.

"A good thing about the Orionids is that they tend to either have a double peak or a flat maximum, which means that you can see good Orionid rates for two to three nights," Cooke said. "So if you miss it one night, you can go out the next night and see them."

Where to look

Orionid meteors are visible from anywhere on Earth and can be seen anywhere across the sky. They appear to originate in the constellation Orion, close to the bright-red star Betelgeuse.

If you find the shape of Orion the Hunter, the meteor shower's radiant (or point of origin) will be near Orion's sword, slightly north of his left shoulder. But don't stare straight at this spot, Cooke said, "because meteors close to the radiant have short trails and are harder to see — so you want to look away from Orion."

What causes the Orionids?

The Orionid meteor shower happens every year during October and November, when Earth's orbit around the sun crosses paths with debris from Halley's Comet. As the icy comet makes its way around the sun, it leaves behind a little trail of comet crumbs.

These tiny comet fragments — some as small as a grain of sand — are called meteoroids. When they enter Earth's atmosphere, they become meteors. Friction from air resistance causes meteors to heat up, creating a bright, fiery trail commonly referred to as a shooting star. Most meteors disintegrate before making it to the ground. The few that do strike the Earth's surface are called meteorites. [How Often Do Meteorites Hit the Earth?]

How to get the best view

As is the case with most nighttime skywatching events, light pollution can hinder your view of the Orionid meteor shower. The best place to be is somewhere with a dark sky, away from major cities.

Cooke recommended lying flat on your back and looking straight up at the sky. This way, you'll be able to see more of the sky than you would if you were sitting or standing while facing just one direction.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her@hannekescience. Follow us @SpacedotcomFacebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.



New Planet!

New Dwarf Planet Found in Our Solar System

A new face has been added to the solar system's family portrait: Scientists have discovered a new dwarf planet looping around the sun in the region beyond Pluto.

The dwarf planet, called 2014 UZ224, measures about 330 miles (530 kilometers) across and is located about 8.5 billion miles (13.7 billion km) from the sun, NPR reported today (Oct. 11). For comparison, Pluto's largest moon, Charon, is about 750 miles (1,200 km) in diameter, and reaches a maximum distance of about 4.5 billion miles (7.3 billion km) from the sun.

A year on 2014 UZ224 (the time it takes the dwarf planet to orbit the sun) is about 1,100 Earth years. One Pluto year, for c is about 248 Earth years. The new object was also confirmed by the Minor Planet Center. [Meet the Solar System's Dwarf Planets]


David Gerdes, a professor of astronomy at the University of Michigan, told NPR that the new dwarf planet was discovered using an instrument called theDark Energy Camera (DECam). The universe is not only expanding but accelerating in that expansion, and "dark energy" is the name scientists have given the mechanism powering that expansion. The DECam was built to observe the movement of galaxies and supernovas (exploding stars) as they move away from the Earth. The goal is to provide more clues that will help reveal what dark energy actually is or where it comes from.

A project called the Dark Energy Survey is using observations from the DECam to create a map of the universe that provides information relevant to the study of dark energy. The DES maps have already been used to study dark matter (which makes up about eighty percent of all the mass in the universe but whose exact nature is still a mystery) and to find previously unidentified objects.

Part of the DES includes taking images of a few small patches of the sky "roughly" once per week, according to the mission website, and that's what made this new discovery possible. While stars and galaxies appear in the same place in the sky, an object that is relatively close to Earth and orbiting the sun might appear to move over the course of a week or a few weeks.

A few years ago, Gerdes asked some visiting undergraduates to look for unidentified solar system objects in the galaxy map, according to NPR. The challenge was slightly difficult because the repeated observations would take place at irregular intervals, Gerdes said, but the students developed computer software to work with the irregularities and spot moving objects.

It took two years to confirm the detection of 2014 UZ224, NPR reports, and while its exact orbital path is still unclear, the scientists behind the discovery say they think that 2014 UZ224 is the third most-distant object in the solar system.

The smallest object in the solar system that has earned the title of "dwarf planet" (prior to this new discovery) is Ceres, which lies in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. Ceres is 590 miles (950 km) across. The object 2014 UZ224 might be too small to be considered a dwarf planet, Gerdes told NPR, but that will have to be decided by the International Astronomical Union (which made the controversial decision to demote Pluto to a dwarf planet). There are four other recognized dwarf planets in the solar system, but scientists think there could be dozens — or even more than 100 — objects that size that have yet to be discovered, according to NASA.


Hubble finds planet orbiting pair of stars

Date: September 22, 2016

Source: Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)

Summary: Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, and a trick of nature, have confirmed the existence of a planet orbiting two stars in the system OGLE-2007-BLG-349, located 8,000 light-years away towards the center of our galaxy. The Hubble observations represent the first time such a three-body system has been confirmed using the gravitational microlensing technique.

This artist's illustration shows a gas giant planet circling a pair of red dwarf stars. The Saturn-mass planet orbits roughly 300 million miles from the stellar duo. The two red dwarf stars are a mere 7 million miles apart.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, and a trick of nature, have confirmed the existence of a planet orbiting two stars in the system OGLE-2007-BLG-349, located 8,000 light-years away towards the center of our galaxy.

The planet orbits roughly 300 million miles from the stellar duo, about the distance from the asteroid belt to our sun. It completes an orbit around both stars roughly every seven years. The two red dwarf stars are a mere 7 million miles apart, or 14 times the diameter of the moon's orbit around Earth.

The Hubble observations represent the first time such a three-body system has been confirmed using the gravitational microlensing technique. Gravitational microlensing occurs when the gravity of a foreground star bends and amplifies the light of a background star that momentarily aligns with it. The particular character of the light magnification can reveal clues to the nature of the foreground star and any associated planets.

The three objects were discovered in 2007 by an international collaboration of five different groups: Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics (MOA), the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE), the Microlensing Follow-up Network (MicroFUN), the Probing Lensing Anomalies Network (PLANET), and the Robonet Collaboration. These ground-based observations uncovered a star and a planet, but a detailed analysis also revealed a third body that astronomers could not definitively identify.

"The ground-based observations suggested two possible scenarios for the three-body system: a Saturn-mass planet orbiting a close binary star pair or a Saturn-mass and an Earth-mass planet orbiting a single star," explained David Bennett of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, the paper's first author.

The sharpness of the Hubble images allowed the research team to separate the background source star and the lensing star from their neighbors in the very crowded star field. The Hubble observations revealed that the starlight from the foreground lens system was too faint to be a single star, but it had the brightness expected for two closely orbiting red dwarf stars, which are fainter and less massive than our sun. "So, the model with two stars and one planet is the only one consistent with the Hubble data," Bennett said.

Bennett's team conducted the follow-up observations with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. "We were helped in the analysis by the almost perfect alignment of the foreground binary stars with the background star, which greatly magnified the light and allowed us to see the signal of the two stars," Bennett explained.

Kepler has discovered 10 other planets orbiting tight binary stars, but these are all much closer to their stars than the one studied by Hubble.

Now that the team has shown that microlensing can successfully detect planets orbiting double-star systems, Hubble could provide an essential role in this new realm in the continued search for exoplanets.

The team's results have been accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal.


Astro Photographer of the year 2016

In pictures: Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016

Please click the following link :




Huge Meteorite “Gancedo” Found in Argentina

By: David Dickinson | September 16, 2016


A rare rock found in Argentina might be one for the record books

Presenting . . . "Gancedo." This 30-ton meteorite, unearthed in early September 2016,

 is from the massive Campo del Cielo meteorite fall in northern Argentina.

Ministerio de Gobierno, Justicia y Relación con la Comunidad

Earlier this week, a team in Argentina excavated a monster: a 30-ton chunk of what is very probably an iron-nickel meteorite.

Named "Gancedo" after a nearby town, the rock was found in the heart of the known Campo del Cielo ("Field of Heaven" in Spanish) meteorite strewnfield. A team from the local Astronomy Association of Chaco dug the huge rock out of the ground on September 10th, and images of the find soon flooded the internet.

“While we hoped for weights above what had been registered, we did not expect it to exceed 30 tons,” Mario Vesconi (Astronomy Association of Chaco) told the Xinhua news service. “The size and weight [of Gancedo] surprised us.” For comparison, the legal maximum gross vehicle weight for an 18-wheeler in the United States is 40 tons.

The team admits it'll take time to weigh the meteorite more precisely. The find will most likely end up ranking as the second-largest meteorite recovered from Campo del Cielo in the Chaco province of northern Argentina, after the 37-ton "El Chaco" uncovered in 1980.

Mammoth Meteorites

And the biggest space rock ever recovered? That title still safely belongs to the Hoba meteorite in Namibia, estimated to weigh more than 60 tons. This measurement is difficult to make because Hoba has never been moved from its discovery site. This massive chunk of iron fell to Earth around 80,000 years ago and is now a tourist attraction, still half-buried in the ground.

The Astronomy Association of Chaco team poses in front of their enormous space rock.
Ministerio de Gobierno, Justicia y Relación con la Comunidad

Gancedo's fall to Earth occurred between 4,000 and 6,000 years ago. Locals knew of the fall for centuries, even making iron tools from meteorites found in the strewnfield. In the 16th century, the Spanish became interested in stories of a piece of iron that fell from the sky, and in 1774 don Bartolomé Francsico de Maguna led an expedition that came across a mass of iron, referred to as Mesón de Fierro ("Table of Iron" in Spanish). Another 1,400-pound fragment from Campo del Cielo named Otumpa now resides at the British Museum in London. With more than 100 tons of meteorite recovered, Campo del Cielo is the top producer in terms of pure meteorite mass worldwide.

The Campo del Cielo strewnfield extends over an ellipse 3 km wide by 19 km long over an area northwest of Buenos Aires, and meteorites found here have a polycrystalline coarse octahedrite composition characteristic of iron-nickel meteorites. They are also unusually pure even among iron-nickel meteorites, consisting of 93% iron. Most of the remaining 7% is nickel, and less than 1% are trace elements.

The illicit meteorite trade surrounding Campo del Cielo has also made the news in the past few years, with arrests just last year by Argentine officials of four smugglers trying to take a ton of meteorites out of the country. Hopefully, Gancedo will prove too large to steal and find its fitting place in meteorite science and history.

See more images of the retrieval of Gancedo on the Ministerio de Gobiero's Facebook page.

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse - Friday, September 16, 2016

Our region will be witnessing a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse this Friday, September 16, 2016. A penumbral lunar eclipse takes place when the Moon moves through the faint, outer part of the Earth's shadow. This type of eclipse is often mistaken for a normal full Moon. The Moon shines because its surface reflects the Sun's rays. A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon and blocks sunlight from directly reaching the Moon.

We at Dubai Astronomy Group will be having a small gathering here in Mushrif Park from 9 PM onwards to 12 PM. The activity is free for all and all are welcomed. We look forward to seeing you there.

Image of the day 7 September 2016

Astronomers: Star Cluster Terzan 5 is ‘Living Fossil’

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows the star cluster Terzan 5. Image credit: F. Ferraro / NASA / ESA / ESO.

Terzan 5, also known as ESO 520-27 and 2MASX J17480455-2446441, is a star cluster located approximately 19,000 light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius.

This grouping of very old stars has been classified as a globular cluster for the forty-odd years since its detection.

Now, an international team of astronomers led by Dr. Francesco Ferraro from the University of Bologna, Italy, has discovered that Terzan 5 is like no other globular cluster known.

The team found compelling evidence that there are two distinct kinds of stars in Terzan 5 which not only differ in the elements they contain, but have an age-gap of 7.5 billion years.

The ages of the two populations – 12 billion and 4.5 billion years – indicate that the star formation process in this cluster was not continuous, but was dominated by two distinct bursts of star formation.

“This requires the Terzan 5 ancestor to have large amounts of gas for a second generation of stars and to be quite massive — at least 100 million times the mass of the Sun,” said team member Dr. Davide Massari, from INAF in Italy and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

Current theories on galaxy formation assume that vast clumps of gas and stars interacted to form the primordial bulge of the Milky Way, merging and dissolving in the process.

“We think that some remnants of these gaseous clumps could remain relatively undisrupted and keep existing embedded within the Galaxy,” Dr. Ferraro said.

“Such galactic fossils allow astronomers to reconstruct an important piece of the history of our Milky Way.”

While the properties of Terzan 5 are uncommon for a globular cluster, they are very similar to the stellar population which can be found in the Galactic bulge, the central region of the Milky Way Galaxy.

These similarities could make Terzan 5 a fossilized relic of galaxy formation, representing one of the earliest building blocks of the Milky Way.

This assumption is strengthened by the original mass of Terzan 5 necessary to create two stellar populations: a mass similar to the huge clumps which are assumed to have formed the bulge during galaxy assembly around 12 billion years ago.

Somehow Terzan 5 has managed to survive being disrupted for billions of years, and has been preserved as a remnant of the distant past of our Galaxy.

“Some characteristics of Terzan 5 resemble those detected in the giant clumps we see in star-forming galaxies at high-redshift, suggesting that similar assembling processes occurred in the local and in the distant Universe at the epoch of galaxy formation,” Dr. Ferraro said.

Hence, this discovery paves the way for a better and more complete understanding of galaxy assembly.

The team’s findings were published this week in the Astrophysical Journal(arXiv.org preprint).

Image of the day

Latest News

The Sky This Week for September 5 to September 11

Neptune reaches opposition, Venus and Jupiter align in the sky, and more wonderful events to look forward to in the sky this week.

Monday, September 5

•  The constellations Ursa Major the Great Bear and Cassiopeia the Queen lie on opposite sides of the North Celestial Pole, so they pivot around the North Star (Polaris) throughout the course of the night and the year. In late August and early September, these two constellations appear equally high as darkness falls. You can find Ursa Major and its prominent asterism, the Big Dipper, about 30° above the northwestern horizon. Cassiopeia’s familiar W-shape, which currently lies on its side, appears the same height above the northeastern horizon. As the night progresses, Cassiopeia climbs above Polaris while the Big Dipper swings below it.

Ursa Major Cassiopeia

Tuesday, September 6

•  Distant Uranus has finally become a nice target for evening observers. The ice giant planet rises around 9 p.m. local daylight time and climbs some 25° above the eastern horizon by 11 p.m. The magnitude 5.7 planet lies in Pisces, 2.5° north of magnitude 4.8 Mu (m) Piscium. Although Uranus glows bright enough to see with the naked eye under a dark sky, binoculars make the task much easier. A telescope reveals the planet’s blue-green disk, which spans 3.7".

•  The Moon reaches apogee, the farthest point in its orbit around Earth, at 2:45 p.m. EDT. It then lies 251,689 miles (405,055 kilometers) from Earth’s center. 

Wednesday, September 7

•  Evenings this week are great times for exploring the constellation Sagittarius the Archer. This star group lies due south and at peak altitude around 9 p.m. local daylight time, just as the last vestiges of twilight fade away. The brightest stars within the constellation form the shape of a teapot — a distinctive asterism once you’ve found it. The central regions of the Milky Way pass through Sagittarius, so it’s always worth exploring the area through binoculars or a telescope.

Thursday, September 8

•  The nearly First Quarter Moon appears 4° above Saturn this evening. The pair stands about 20° high in the southwest as darkness falls. Although the duo looks best with the naked eye and binoculars, don’t pass on the opportunity to view Saturn through a telescope. The magnitude 0.5 planet measures 16" across while its dramatic ring system spans 37" and tilts 26° to our line of sight. As a bonus, the ringed planet reached quadrature only six days ago, so a line from the Sun to Earth and then to Saturn formed a right angle. Observationally, this means that Saturn’s shadow now extends farthest east of the planet and shows up plainly on the rings, giving the world a striking 3-D appearance.

•  Although September is typically a slow month for meteors, the International Meteor Organization has identified a relatively new shower called the Epsilon Perseids. Observers witnessed an unexpected flurry of “shooting stars” radiating from the constellation Perseus in both 2008 and 2013. In other years, the rate topped out at five meteors per hour. In 2016, the shower peaks late this evening, though the best views will come after midnight once the Moon has set and Perseus rides high in the sky.

Friday, September 9

•  First Quarter Moon arrives at 7:49 a.m. EDT. Our satellite won’t rise until around 2 p.m. local daylight time, however, so observers in the Americas won’t see it precisely half-lit. As darkness falls tonight, the Moon appears about 55 percent lit and lies nearly 10° above Mars. The Red Planet is worth exploring in detail any night this week. It shines at magnitude –0.2 and shows a 10"-diameter, orange-red disk with several subtle dark markings when viewed through a telescope.

Saturday, September 10

•  If you look overhead as darkness falls anytime this week, your eyes will fall on the brilliant star Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp. At magnitude 0.0, Vega is the brightest member of the prominent Summer Triangle asterism. The Triangle’s second-brightest star, magnitude 0.8 Altair in Aquila the Eagle, lies some 35° southeast of Vega. The asterism’s dimmest member, magnitude 1.3 Deneb in Cygnus the Swan, stands about 25° east-northeast of Vega. Deneb trails Vega by about two hours and passes through the zenith at approximately 10:30 p.m. local daylight time.

Sunday, September 11

•  Asteroid 2 Pallas reached opposition and peak visibility three weeks ago, but it remains a tempting target in the evening sky. The second-largest object orbiting between Mars and Jupiter glows at magnitude 9.4, bright enough to show up through almost any telescope. You can find it in the dim constellation Equuleus the Little Horse, which lies just west of its big cousin, Pegasus. This evening, the asteroid lies 1° due west of Equuleus’ brightest star, magnitude 3.9 Alpha (a) Equulei. The two objects climb nearly two-thirds of the way to the zenith in the southern sky around 11 p.m. local daylight time

For original article see 


Image of the day 5 September 2016

Image of the day



The weird, isolated mountain on Ceres is a giant ice volcano

Ceres: a world that just keeps getting weirder and weirder.


Ever since we laid robotic eyes on the lone, giant mountain on Ceres, scientist have been obsessed with a single question: How did Ahuna Mons form? New models suggest the mountain is an icy volcano, adding on to the growing body of evidence that even small worlds can be geologically active.

When NASA’s Dawn spacecraft arrived in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres in the main asteroid belt, it found a single lone mountain in its vast, cratered plains. Since then, scientists have puzzled over its origin. After running scenarios for every formation process they could dream up, they think they’ve found an answer.

With a single spacecraft in orbit and no rovers to poke and prod directly, researchers are dependent on remote sensing to collect data, then modeling scenarios to try to make that data into a coherent story. Scientists brainstormed every process we know about that can create mountains — volcanism, tectonic movement, even buoyant displacement — and tested models to see what fits our observations.

Cryovolcanoes are a unique feature to other planets in our solar system not found on Earth. These volcanoes erupt frozen slurry of salty ices instead of molten rock. They’re increasingly common in the outer solar system, famously caught erupting on Enceladus by the Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft. Now it looks like they may also exist closer to the Sun.

When researchers modelled potential cryovolcanoes on Ceres, their hypothetical scenario looked similar to terrestrial volcanoes with high-viscosity magma. The peak of Ahuna Mons is riddled with fractures and tiny hills, consistent with thick, gooey material  erupting, oozing in a messy spread until  it cools and hardens. As it cools, the materials fractures and breaks into boulders, which tumble down the mountain to create a halo of debris. All aspects of this process common to terrestrial volcanoes with high-viscosity lava are also present on Ceres’ massive mountain, suggesting that that it formed the same way.

In order for the models to match observations, the mountain on Ceres must be quite young, and the product of a high-viscosity mix of ice and salt. But like everything else on Ceres, this is the start of a whole new round of questions. What does the interior structure of the dwarf planet look like, and how is heat involved in driving active surface processes? What salts are mixed into the ice, and how far from pure water is it? Can we find evidence of other cryovolcanic processes on Ceres, or is this mountain a unique outlier reflecting some yet-unknown localized oddity? And if we can find cryovolcanoes on dwarf planets in the main asteroid belt, where else are we going to find them?

Taken from www.astronomy.com.

Monday Members Meeting

We are happy to announce that we will be starting off the Monday Members Meeting from this Monday. This meet up is specifically created for Dubai Astronomy Group members to meet up with other members. Here, news in astronomy and latest updates of Dubai Astronomy Group will be discussed. There will also be a small segment for the Astro Cinema.

The program is scheduled for Mondays at Mushrif Park, Dubai, from 6 - 9PM. So if you are an Associate or Student member, you are more than welcome to join us for this meeting. We look forward to seeing you there!

Eid Mubarak!

On this auspicious occasion, from the entire team of Dubai Astronomy Group, we would like to wish you all Eid Mubarak!

Saturn Opposition Stargazing Party - Friday, 3 June

 Join Dubai Astronomy Group this weekend, Friday 3rd June, at Mushrif Park for the Saturn Opposition Stargazing Party. The event will start at 8PM and will go on till 11 PM as observe the planets Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and ‘the Heart of the Scorpion’ Antares. The event is free for all, so feel free to join us with family, friends and loved ones.

Click here for the location map to the venue and to register for the program, please click here to get the registration form. Fill out the registration form (one form for each participant) and send it to astro@dubaiastronomy.com so that we may complete the registration process.

We look forward to seeing you all there

Mars Opposition Stargazing Party - Friday, 20 May

Come and join Dubai Astronomy Group as we witness another amazing astronomical event coming up this weekend. On Friday, 20 May, Dubai Astronomy Group is organizing a Mars Opposition stargazing party where we will be observing the planets Mars, Saturn and ‘the Heart of the Scorpion’ Antares, as they rise into the night sky. The event is free for all and we would really appreciate it if you could join us with family and loved ones.

Click here for the location map to the venue and to register for the program, please click here to get the registration form. Fill out the registration form (one form for each participant) and send it to astro@dubaiastronomy.com so that we may complete the registration process.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Mercury Transit 2016

Come and witness this rare sight with Dubai Astronomy Group as Mercury visibly passes in front of the Sun on Monday, 9 May. This will be the first such event in 10 years with the previous having taken place in 2006. The transit will last from about 11:12 UTC to 18:42 UTC with the exact time depending on the location. In Dubai the transit will start 15:12 and will continue but sun will set while the transit in its prime center.

Dubai Astronomy Group will be organizing an observation event with an armada of telescopes and gears to capture and broadcast the event live worldwide. The venue for the event will be the Mushrif Park in Dubai (location map) and the program will start from 2 PM onward till sun set. For more information and to register for the event please send an email to astro@dubaiastronomy.com

Astronomy Day - Friday, 22 April

Join Dubai Astronomy Group Come at Mushrif Park (location map) on Friday, April 22, to celebrate Astronomy Day. The activity is FREE FOR ALL and will be from 7PM - 9PM. There will be a special talk on Mars Exploration and we will be viewing a documentary as well. Join us with your family and friends to observe celestial bodies through our telescopes.

To register for the program, send us an email at astro@dubaiastronomy.com with your name and contact details and of any who will be joining you.

Join us at BMI Gulf Education Fair

Join Dubai Astronomy Group at the BMI Global Education Fair in Abu Dhabi (April 20) and Dubai (April 22 and 23). 

Make sure to join Mr. Hasan's lecture at the event on "Astronomy as a tool for education" on following timings:

  • Abu Dhabi-April 20th- 3:50pm-4:20pm

  • Dubai- April 23rd- 3:10pm-3:40pm

Earth Hour - Saturday, 19 March 2016

Join Dubai Astronomy Group on Saturday, 19 March 2016 at Mushrif Park, Dubai (location map to our parking lot) to once again celebrate the night sky during Earth Hour. The event will start at 7PM and will go on all the way to 10PM. Mushrif Park will be switching off its lights during Earth Hour, between 8:30 PM - 9:30 PM.

The event is free for all and we would love for you to join us. Even if you can't make it for the event, please make sure you observe Earth Hour wherever you are and switch off all unnecessary electrical appliances and lights from between 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM. To register for the event, please send an email to astro@dubaiastronomy.com with your name and contact details, and of those that will be accompanying you.

Stargazing Night - Friday, 11 March 2016

Join Dubai Astronomy Group at their new activity area in Mushrif Park (Click here for Location Map), right next to the upcoming Al Thuraya Astronomy Center, for the a FREE FOR ALL Stargazing Event! The program is scheduled for Friday, 11 March, 2016 from 6 - 10PM. Come with family and friends to observe celestial bodies from our telescopes. Early birds might even get to witness the eclipsing of the Jupiter moons!

To register for the program, send us an email at astro@dubaiastronomy.com with your name and contact details and of any who will be joining you. 

The event is free for all however the Mushrif Park entrance fees will be applicable.


Basic Astronomy Training - Module 1

Course Introduction

This program is your first step in a journey that will take you to the farthest reaches of space and the innermost depths of matter and from the earliest beginning of time to the future billions of years from now.

Introductory astronomy classes have the daunting task of introducing students to the wonders of the entire universe in one short course. Though the information you will encounter will sometimes be mind-boggling, you will find it such a fascinating experience that you will want to learn more about those places.

Course Fees

  • AED 500 for all non members 
  • AED 300 for Associate / Student Members

Group Registration Offer
For a group of 4 participants, one is FREE.

To register for this program, please reply to this email confirming your attendance and the number of participants.
Members are required to provide their Membership ID Number along with their registration.

Astrophotography Training Program - Feb 11 & 12

This program is specially designed for beginners, even if they have absolutely no background in astronomy or astrophotography. There are no prerequisites to attend this program.

The course will be conducted in two sessions over a period of two days. The first day will be at our facility at Mushrif Park - Dubai. The second day will be at a remote site to avoid light pollution as much as possible. Each session will be for 4 hours. The total number of seats per course will be 20.

Course Fees:

  • AED 1300 for all non members. (Please CLICK HERE for information about our membership programs)
  • AED 1000 for Associate / Student Members


To register for this program, please send an email to info@dubaiastronomy.com confirming your attendance and the number of participants. You will be required to pay for the program before you attend.
Members are required to provide their Membership ID Number along with their registration.

We have moved!

After a long wait, we have relocated our office beside the upcoming Dubai Astronomy Group HQ, the Thuraya Astronomy Center. Yes, we have moved to Mushrif Park!

We have set up an activity area right next to the Thuraya Astronomy Center. We will be having periodic events in this area as well as activities every weekend. There will be further development in the area as well so keep posted for updates! And also... 

here is the latest development of the Thuraya Astronomy Center! It's just a matter of months before you will be reading of its inauguration. And yes, we are expecting to see you all there for it!

As we have just moved, we are still waiting to get a fixed telephone line, so if you would like to contact us, feel free to Connect with Us at +971 50 6246172. Or better yet, feel free to drop by on any Friday! You can see the updated location map in our CONTACT US section. 

Leonid Meteor Shower - Monday, 16 November

Come witness this celestial marvel with Dubai Astronomy Group on Monday, 16 November @ 9 PM at the Showka Dam (parking lot). Click here for the location map.

Register now for the event and the Astrophotography workshop led by CEO of Dubai Astronomy Group, Mr. Hasan Al Hariri. To register for the program, send an email to astro@dubaiastronomy.com, with your contact details (name, email address and mobile number) and the contact details of all that would be accompanying you. 

Astro & Nightscape Photography - Friday, 6 November

Be part of this Nikon School activity with Dubai Astronomy Group in this Astro & Nightscape Photography seminar with renowned and award winning astrophotographer Babak A. Tafreshi. 

The program is free for all and at Oneness Media at 6A St., Al Quoz 1, Dubai (It’s directly behind Times Square, the same building with Easytruck Mobile Storage) from 5 PM to 8 PM. Click here for location map

To register for the program, please click here to register.

Astrophotography Workshop - Saturday, 24 October

UPDATE: If you were unable to register for the Astrophotography Workshop, you can still catch the LIVE broadcast of the event through the following link! Remember to login/register to catch the event live. 


Thank you so much for the overwhelming response for the Astrophotography Workshop with HIPA. Unfortunately seats are limited and after reaching the 200 mark, the organizers closed registrations.

However, we are still registering people, so that we can give them first preference for our next program. Simply send us an email with your name and contact number, so that we may get in touch with you once a program is announced. We will soon be offering free seminars and workshops, introduction to astronomy programs, basic astronomy training courses, astrophotography workshops and much more!

Join Dubai Astronomy Group for this Astrophotography Workshop with HIPA (Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award) on Saturday, 24 October, 2015. The program will be presented by CEO of Dubai Astronomy Group, Mr. Hasan Ahmad Al Hariri and the venue for the workshop will be HIPA HQ (Contact Information).

The registration for the program is free of charge and we look forward to seeing you all there! Click here to register for the program.

Closest northern views of Saturn’s moon Enceladus

Monday, 19 October, 2015

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has begun returning its best-ever views of the northern extremes of Saturn’s icy ocean-bearing moon Enceladus. The spacecraft obtained the images during its October 14 flyby, passing 1,142 miles (1,839 kilometers... Read More.






Space Week 2015

Join us in our week long celebration of Space Week! We will be having events in the morning for schools from October 4 - 8 and on the evening of Friday, 9 October at Mushrif Park where all are welcome to join us. 

Nearby red dwarfs could reveal planet secrets

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

An accidental find of a collection of young red dwarf stars close to our solar system could give us a rare glimpse of slow-motion planet formation. Astronomers from the Australian National University (ANU) and University of New South Wales (UNSW) ... Read More

Cassini finds global ocean in Saturn’s moon Enceladus

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Researchers found that the magnitude of the moon's slight wobble, as it orbits Saturn, can only be accounted for if its outer ice shell is not frozen solid to its interior... Read More


Study finds barrage of small asteroids shattered Moon’s upper crust

Monday, September 14, 2015

Further impacts to these regions may have then sealed up cracks and decreased porosity... Read More





NASA telescopes find galaxy cluster with vibrant heart

Sunday, September 13, 2015
The unexpected find suggests that behemoth galaxies at the cores of massive clusters can grow significantly by feeding off gas stolen from other galaxies... Read More.

New Horizons selects Kuiper Belt target

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

NASA selects the next target for New Horizons, a Kuiper Belt object a billion miles past Pluto...Read More





Interstellar seeds could create oases of life

Monday, August 31, 2015

New research by Harvard astrophysicists shows that if life can travel between the stars, it would spread in a characteristic pattern that we could potentially identify... Read More








Perseid Meteor Shower - The Event

The Perseid Meteor Shower Event was scheduled for August 13 – 14, 2015 at the Mercure Grand Hotel Jebel Hafeet – Al Ain. Even though the meteor shower peaked theprevious night, the night was not without its fair share of meteors streaking through the night sky. Onlookers counted up to 75 meteors after midnight till around 2 AM. 

The event started at 9 PM on August 13 with the telescope observations as people looked on in awe at the marvels of the rings to Saturn. There were intermittent presentations by CEO of Dubai Astronomy Group, Hasan Al Hariri, where he spoke of the Perseid meteor shower and also gave the crowd a taste of the videos and images of the meteors they had captured the previous night. As the event approached midnight, the crowd moved to a more dark area on the venue and lay on their backs gazing into the night sky. 

We hope you all enjoyed the event as much as we did and we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!

Perseid Meteor Shower 2015

Join us for the Perseid Meteor Shower this August 13 - 14 @ Mercure Grand Hotel Jebel Hafeet - Al Ain. The event will go on from 9 PM (Aug 13) to 4 AM (Aug 14). To register for the event, please contact Ms. Shilpa Babu via email at H3573-SL3@accor.com or via telephone at +971 3 704 6767.

Entry fees for the program is:

  • Family @ AED 100 (02 Adults and 02 Kids below 12 yrs)
  • Individual @ AED 50

First 30 DAG members with valid ID DAG membership ID cards get free entrance for the event and a discounted rate of AED 500 net BB DBL!


On this auspicious occasion, the entire team of Dubai Astronomy Group would like to wish you all a very hearty Eid Mubarak!

The Venus, Jupiter and Moon Triangle - June 20, 2015

Following are images captured by Dubai Astronomy Group while Venus, Jupiter and the Moon made a triangle on June 20, 2015. Hope you enjoy them! Click on them to get a bigger image. 


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