International Dark Sky Week


It’s the International Dark Sky Week starting from 20th April to 26th April 2014.

Celebrate the stars! Created in 2003 by high-school student Jennifer Barlow, International Dark Sky Week (IDSW) has grown to become a worldwide event and a key component of Global Astronomy Month. The goals of IDSW are to appreciate the beauty of the night sky and to raise awareness of how poor-quality lighting creates light pollution.

Light pollution is a growing problem. Not only does it have detrimental effects on our views of the night sky, but it also disrupts the natural environment, wastes energy, and has the potential to cause health problems.

IDSW is a great time to host a neighborhood star party to introduce the idea of preserving a dark night sky to your community or to evaluate your own lighting to make sure that it is dark sky friendly.

There lots of great ways to participate. The more people there are that turn out their lights, the less light pollution there will be. How can you help the cause? Find some great ways to fight light pollution and some cool IDSW events at the International Dark-Sky Association’s IDSW page.

Follow the Dark Skies Awareness blog and check out these Dark Sky Resources.

Please Watch out this post for further updates

At the mean time, try finding dark skies near your location area. Try to conduct a Sky quality test via iPhone Application Named “DSM” – Dark Sky Meter. And for Android users, “Loss of the night

Enjoy the dark skies while watching the Lyrid Meteor showers

Lyrid Watch 2014


From AWB:  Let’s look up together for the Lyrid meteor shower! 

The Lyrid Watch for GAM2014 will be most challenging for those located in suburban areas. The peak of the meteor shower occurs before dawn on April 22nd. Normally we would expect to see around 10-20 metoers at the peak, however, there is also a last quarter moon at this time, so viewing may be diminished.

The Lyrid meteor shower happens each year from about April 16 to 26 – most are seen on April 22. Don’t expect continuous meteors covering the sky but you’ll still see a good display. A shower occurs when Earth goes through a swarm of material in space and the meteors appear to come from one point in the sky known as the radiant, in this case in the constellation of Lyra (giving the annual event its name). You’ll see the most Lyrid meteors near the shower’s peak on April 22 as Earth moves through the debris left behind by Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, a regular visitor to the inner solar system referred to as a periodic comet. The recorded history of the Lyrids is longer than any other, with records of observations going back 2600 years.

Lyrid meteors are usually around magnitude +2, which is bright enough to be visible from most cities, but you’ll see more and enjoy them more if you leave the city for a dark place where the stars shine brighter. They often produce luminous trains of dust that can be observed for several seconds. Some Lyrids will be brighter, though, and the occassional “fireball” can cast shadows for a split second and leave behind glowing, smoky debris trails that last for minutes. Lyrid meteors disintegrate after hitting our atmosphere at a moderate speed of 29.8 miles per second.

During GAM we include a global Lyrids Watch when everyone is encouraged to observe the Lyrids and send in reports of what they saw. Observing reports like this are valuable scientific evidence that is gathered and analyzed by the International Meteor Organization (IMO). Submit your data to the IMO Visual Meteor Observation.

Tweet your data! You can also share your data by Tweeting your postcode, your country (click here to find your country code) and, optionally, the meteor count along with the hashtag; #MeteorWatch (you are welcome to use GAM hastags as well – #GAM2014 #LyridsWatch)

The meteor data will appear in a map at


EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2014

Lyrids 2014 details at IMO

Visual Meteor Observation information at IMO

Please Share your experience/Photography with  GAM2014 Facebook or Flickr group or Tweet using #GAM2014 and #LyridsWatch (@gam_awb) and in this comment section below.

Wish you a Clear Meteor Skies

Mars Watch

Mars Watch

As Part of GAM 2014, It’s Mars Watch Event on 11th April 2014.

Mars will be in opposition – which is where the Earth falls between the Sun and Mars on the 8th, and Mars will be closest to us on April 14th at 12:54UT.

AWB invites you, me and everyone to hold a Mars viewing party on Friday April 11, and to take advantage of the good viewing due to these two events.  Don’t forget to register your event! For the rest, please join the nearst Event in your area.

In Oman/Muscat, AstrOceanOmy Observatory, will hold a Mars viewing party on Friday 11th April 2014 from 20:00 to 23:50 (UTC+4). Family and Friends are therefore invited for the event. Anyone else interested, please drop me a line in this post comments section. As I’ve got limited seats available.

Mars will be -1.5 magnitude with a diameter of 15.2” and a distance of 92.4 million kilometers making viewing quite favorable this April.

Even more: Name your very own crater on Uwingu’s map of Mars, and help create the world’s first crowdsourced Mars map.

Please visit AWB Mars Watch Page for more information

AstrOceanOmy Subscribers, please revisit this post at the end of the month for more updates and event pictures. 

Clear Skies

GAM: Remote Observing Programs



29th April 2014 :Solar Eclipse @06:00 UTC 

GAM Solar Eclipse

Watch the event on webTV.


21st April 2014 :Stars for all @20:30 UTC

Stars for all

Watch the event on webTV.


15th April 2014 :Total Lunar Eclipse @06:30 UTC

If you cannot view the eclipse directly yourself, including me :). You can watch it online.  Updates: This event is now over, you can watch the recording of the whole program here on YouTube

10th April 2014 :Vesta Watch @20:30 UTC

As part of GAM, Remote Observing Programs, On 10th April 2014,Vesta is one of the largest asteroids in the Solar System. At the time of viewing it will be brighter than magnitude 6. So easily visible by the Virtual Telescope.

Vesta Watch Watch the event on webTV. 


8th April 2014 : The Night Of The Red Planet Online Observing Event @23:00 UTC

As part of GAM, Remote Observing Programs, On 8th April 2014, Mars, the red planet, will be at opposition. That very same night, we will explore that inspiring and amazing world thanks to the Virtual Telescope, sharing its images online, in real-time.

Live commentary by Dr. Gianluca Masi, astrophysicist.

GAM Mars Online

Watch the event on webTV.


6th April 2014 : Near Earth Asteroid Observing Event @00:00 UTC

As part of GAM, Remote Observing Programs, today 6th April 2014, at 10:25 UTC, the 50-meters large asteroid 2014 GN1 will make a very close approach with the Earth, reaching a minimum distance of less than 930.000 km, that is 2.44 lunar distances.

This is a very safe distance, but still a very spectacular occurrence, so the Virtual Telescope Project will offer a live, online event sharing real-time images of 2014 GN1 with live commentary by our scientific staff.

Watch the event on webTV.


Note: Please visit this blog post for future update Remote events or AWB Page

5th April Global Star Party


As part of The GAM 2014, today 5th April 2014, is Global Star Party.

In Sultanate of Oman, the Global Star Party will be held in Qurum, the natural park / Muscat. Time: 18:00 to 21:00 (UTC+4).

Today we will be observing mainly the following:

  • The Great Orion Nebula (M42)
  • The Moon
  • Planet Jupiter along with its 4 Galileo moons
  • Planet Mars

For more updated news please follow AstrOceanOmy Facebook Page.

Clear Skies

GAM @ Oman

The GAM 2014

Global Astronomy Month, (GAM) each April is the world’s largest global celebration of astronomy since the unprecedented International Year of Astronomy 2009.

Each GAM brings new ideas and new opportunities, and again brings enthusiasts together worldwide, celebrating One People, One Sky.


In April 2009, the 100 Hours of Astronomy (100HA) Cornerstone Project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) showed what the astronomy community can do working together. As the first truly global outreach event, amateur astronomers, clubs, science centers and others held events by the thousands around the world, attracting the largest public audience ever. The excitement was contagious as this unified global event, encouraging everyone to look skyward, swept the world.
Everyone wanted the excitement to continue, and now it will. Not just repeating 100HA, but something even bigger, built on 2009’s global success.
Global Astronomy Month is Astronomers Without Border’s response. New ideas, new opportunities and more participation. Connecting people around the world in these events will create an even greater sense of sharing, just as in AWB’s motto and the slogan for GAMOne People, One Sky.
The global outreach community’s enthusiasm and innovation was critical in making 100 Hours of Astronomy successful, and GAM will continue to bring together all that tens of thousands of enthusiasts worldwide have to offer.

GAM 2014 Trailer Video


This Month is a busy month, I will try to cover and share some interesting topics and events in this blog as much as I can. At the mean time, please have a look at GAM2014 Program Schedule.

    For more information, please visit:


    Clear Skies,

    2013 The last breath


    2013 was a great year in Astronomy. We’ve participated in many Astronomical Activities. Details of each event will be posted individually later InShaAllah (If God wills)

    In 2013, I created a A Facebook Page, and I tend to share the most interesting news/pictures related to Astronomy from around the globe

    Also I created a new Website related to Astrophotography, (Under Construction Yet) However please have a look and drop me a line for any comments.

    Yesterday (30th December 2013)  I had my second attempt in Astrophotography with a Telescope

    AstrOceanOmy Observatory

    The Orion Nebula – M42 / M43 (AstrOceanOmy Observatory) Details will be posted later!


    The Picture Above was taken on 31st December 2013 at midnight Just before 2014 Smile. Notice the Constellation Orion just above my head.  The Telescope was pointing towards the Planet Jupiter, as we were observing the event of Ganymede, on of Jupiter’s moons pops-out from behind the Planet at 11:50pm (UTC+4)

    M42 ISO800at30Sec

    Live Long and Prosper Smile

    Happy New Year

    Crescent Visibility Report for Thul Hijjah 1434 AH

    In the Name of God, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

    Crescent Visibility  Report for Thul Hijjah 1434 AH (Saturday 5th October 2013) (29th of Dhu al-Qidah 1434) Based on settings*

    Saturday 05 October 2013

    * Settings:-

    The geocentric conjunction (Geocentric New Moon) will occur Inshalla on (Saturday 05 October 2013) at 00:36 UTC.

    OMAN Muscat, Long: 58:35:36.0, Lat: 23:36:48.0, Ele:21.0, Zone:4.00

    Timing: (5th/10/2013)
    Sun Sun Moon Sleeping half-moon
    Rise 05:58:46 06:06:34
    Transit 11:53:53 12:03:48
    Set 17:48:56 18:00:37
    Azimuth (Degree)@17:00 259° 57.277′ 253°  51.625′
    Altitude (Degree)@17:00 10°  16.376′ 12°  19.247′

    Age of Moon: Waxing Crescent (Hilal) : ~ 0.53 days old.

    Set Time difference : ~12 minutes

    Based on the Astronomical data report, the Sun sets at 5:48 Pm @ (264° 53.317` W), and 6:00 pm @ (259° 53.825` W) for the Moon which makes out only around 12 minuets before each set below the Horizon. It is therefore very difficult to sight the Crescent on this day not only in Oman but the whole middle east region.

    And, based on the calculated crescent visibility, the start of this month in the Eastern Region will be on Sunday 06 October 2013 and in the Western Region will be on Sunday 06 October 2013. Hence the first day of Eid in both regions will be on Tuesday 15 October 2013. It has to be matched due to Hajj, And Allah Knows best.

    The results will be posted later in the comments section below. Please visit later today for the final conclusion.

    Have a nice day and Clear Skies

    For more information regarding the topic; Please feel free to search this blog above, just type “Hilal” under the search window.

    Our Planet around Our Star

    28th Earth revolution around the Sun since the owner of this website was born

    Screen Shot 2013-07-19 at 14.21.40

    The image above is taken from the famous Solar Walk software. The blue dot represents Planet Earth travelling around the Shiny Star, Our Sun.

    Today Friday, July 19th, the Cassini spacecraft will photograph Earth through the rings of Saturn–and NASA wants you to jump into the shot.

    Cassini has photographed Earth before, but this will be the first time Earthlings know in advance their picture will be taken from a billion miles away,” says Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.  “We hope that people around the world will go outside to wave at Saturn while the photo-shoot is underway.

    Wave at Saturn

    Cassini’s cameras will be trained on Earth during a 15 minute interval that begins at 2:27 p.m. PDT (5:27 p.m. EDT or 21:27 UTC).

    I so am excited about this rare opportunity on this historical Special Day to send photons of all of us waving at Saturn, I am encouraging everyone around the world to wave at Saturn today.

    Todays July 19, 2013, image will be the first to capture the Saturn system with Earth in natural color, as human eyes would see it. It also will be the first to capture Earth and its moon with Cassini’s highest-resolution camera.

    Congratulations to everyone who participated in Wave at Saturn contest, and specially to the ones who won. Winners will receive free telescopes from Explore Scientific. Congratulations..
    Get the full story from Science@NASA. NASA JPL, FaceBook Page Event, NASA’s Cassini Mission to Saturn FaceBook Page

    A massage from IAU Outreach:

    Dear all,

    Be in the photo – Friday 19th July: On July 19th, 2013 between 21:27 and 21:42 UTC, the NASA’s Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn will turn towards Earth and take a picture of Saturn, it’s rings, and the distant Earth and Moon in what has been called a Pale Blue Dot image (the first of this kind was the 1990 photograph by the Voyager 1 spacecraft from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers from Earth).

    If you’re outside then, and can see Saturn then theoretically you’re in the photo. Earth will be about one pixel in the photo, so no need to dress up – unless you participate in the “Interplanetary Photobomb” and post photos of yourself waving at Saturn.

    Photograph Saturn for a Great Mosaic. Submit widefield photos of Saturn appearing in the night sky above your local landscape; photos of people observing Saturn; photos of people with an image of Saturn in hand (having their portrait taken with the “star” of the show). Coordinated by TWAN, all approved images will be combined into a mosaic of what the Cassini image is expected to look like when it is released some six months later. The mosaic will be zoomable so viewers can zoom in and see the individual images from around the world. Everyone at any age from around the world are invited to submit images.

    The diversity of locations, people, and compositions enrich the resulted mosaic. Telescopic images of Saturn are not the main goal of this project as they are beyond the capability of all but a tiny percentage of the world’s population. The submitted images should be made anytime through 22 July. You can submit older photos if they were taken during 2013. More information on the program page. Submit photos here.

    Observe Saturn with AWB. When the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn takes its historic portrait of Earth on 19 July the world will be watching. Join Astronomers Without Borders in showing Saturn to as many people as possible. Check the July 19 events list or the world map world map if you are looking for an event in your area to attend and if you are organizing an event for The Day the Earth Smiled register here.

    Message to the Milky Way. If you are a photographer or a music composer this is your chance to transmit your peace of work to the universe; a message that might eventually arrive to intelligent inhabitants of others worlds in the galaxy; a work of art that describe our life and planet Earth along with other contents of this galactic message. The two connected contests are held in association with Cassini’s imaging of Earth on 2013 July 19. The winning entries will be Chosen in worldwide competitions sponsored by Diamond Sky Productions and guided by illustrious group of Advisors, will be included in a digitally encoded message that will be broadcast into the galaxy from the most powerful single radio telescope on Earth, the 305-meter Arecibo dish in Puerto Rico, on the anniversary of The Day The Earth Smiled. The images should be an original work, taken on July 19, 2013, that best visually illustrates what makes planet Earth unique in our solar system. The original piece of music should present the spirit of The Day The Earth Smiled and puts to music that ancient human longing to understand the meaning of our own existence. See the Message to the Milky Way page for more information.

    – The World at Night Saturn gallery, featuring a unique collection of images from around the globe presenting planet Saturn in the starry sky of the Earth.
    Saturn Mosaic Project on Astronomers Without Borders
    – An Observing Guide to Saturn on Sky&Telescope website
    Saturn in Your Kitchen and Backyard (classroom activities for educators), by Cassini Outreach Team
    Read 7 Billion People And Trillions Of Creatures To Be Photographed Together On July 19, by Robert Krulwich, the National Public Radio

    Please send us your input to for the next newsletter which we will aim to send out on Friday 26th July 2013.

    Clear skies,
    On behalf of the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach,
    JC & Kevin

    Ramdan Kareem

    Ramadhan Kareem

    Please make Special Duaa  while waving at Saturn Smile

    Crescent Visibility Combined Report for Ramadan & Shawwal 1434

    In the Name of God, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

    Crescent Visibility Combined Report for Ramadan 1434 (Monday 8th July 2013) & Shawwal 1434 (Wednesday 7th August 2013), Based on settings*

    Crescent Visibility  Report for Ramadan 1434 (Monday 8th July 2013) (29th of Shaaban 1434)

    8 July Hilal Sighting for Ramadan 1434

    * Settings:-

    OMAN Muscat, Long: 58:35:36.0, Lat: 23:36:48.0, Ele:21.0, Zone:4.00

    Timing: (8th/07/2013)

    Sun Sun

    Moon Sleeping half-moon









    Azimuth (Degree)@18:00

    ~289° 46.311`

    ~284° 10.566`

    Altitude (Degree)@18:00

    ~11° 5.030`

    ~10° 41.631`

    Age of Moon: Waxing Crescent : ~ 0.24 days old.

    Set Time difference : ~1.5 minutes

    Based on the Astronomical data report, the Sun sets at 6:56 Pm @ (294° 57.400` WNW), and 6:53 pm @ (288° 54.851` WNW) for the Moon which makes out only 1.5 minuets before each set below the Horizon.

    Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 18.00.00

    Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 18.00.00 Zoom

    On this day, the Moon sets nearly 2 minuets before the sun, which makes the crescent sighting not only difficult but impossible.

    Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 18.00.00 Zoom2

    The Crescent is already born on this day, however based on the astronomical calculations and personal experience , the Crescent (Hilal) will NOT be visible across the country.

    Therefore Shaa’ban will continue its 30 days

    Ramadan will start on Wednesday, 10th July 2013  InShaAllah (If God Wills)

    Please note, Ramadan starts after the Sunset on Tuesday  ..

    (Not to get confused, The Arabic new day always starts after Sunset)


    Crescent Visibility Report for Shawwal 1434 (Wednesday 7th August 2013) (29th Ramadan 1434)

    Hilal Sighting for Shawwal 1434

    The crescent will be impossible if “not possible” to sight in most parts of the world on this day, however the chances to sight increases as we head towards south east; South Africa and South America.

    * Settings:-

    OMAN Muscat, Long: 58:35:36.0, Lat: 23:36:48.0, Ele:21.0, Zone:4.00

    Timing: (7th/08/2013)

    Sun Sun

    Moon Sleeping half-moon









    Azimuth (Degree)@18:00

    ~283° 55.160`

    ~275° 8.468`

    Altitude (Degree)@18:00

    ~8° 57.281`

    ~10° 42.77`

    Age of Moon: Waxing Crescent : ~ 0.62 days old.

    Set Time difference : ~7.5 minutes

    Based on the Astronomical data report, the Sun sets at 6:44 Pm @ (288° 7.761` W), and 6:52 pm @ (279° 55.673` W) for the Moon which makes out only 7.5 minuets before each set below the Horizon.

    Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 18.00.00

    On this day, the Moon sets after the Sun, which brings a hope to sight if possible compared to the first repot above.

    Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 18.00.00 Zoom

    The Azimuth between the Moon and the Sun is nearly 9°

    Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 18.00.00 Zoom2

    ~ 98% chances that Ramadan will be 30 days this year. Just giving 2% hope to our new advanced Telescope and CCD camera to find the crescent under clear skies hopefully Smile. Please refer to my previous post for the factors.

    Based on the astronomical calculations and personal experience , the Crescent (Hilal) will NOT be visible across the country.

    Therefore Ramadan will continue its 30 days InShaAllah (If God Wills)

    Shawwal will start on Friday, 9th August 2013 InShaAllah (If God Wills)

    Wish you all a clear skies and a happy sighting day (If you could find it ^_^)

    You’ve got nearly 2% to sight it using advanced optical systems/CCD cameras

    Hilal Sighting

    Ramadan Kareem and Eid Mubarak in advance to Everyone.

    May Allah Accept our fasting, Prayers and good deeds. Ameen.

    For more information regarding the topic; Please feel free to search this blog above, just type “Hilal” under the search window.