Al Thuraya Astronomy Center from the air

Credit: Stuart Youngs

The following images were taken by one of our members, Stuart Youngs, of how the Thuraya Astronomy Center look from the air when entering Dubai via airplane. 

Thank you very much Stuart Youngs for sharing these amazing pictures with us. We would request all of you to also take pictures of the building during landing in Dubai and share them with us so that we can share them with the rest of the group as well. 

Thuraya Astronomy Center - UPDATE

Great times are up ahead! And if you have read a specific article issued in the Al Bayan Newspaper (dated December 05, 2016), you know what we are talking about. Yes, it is the article where H.E. Hussein Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, talks about the upcoming hand over of the Thuraya Astronomy Center project to Dubai Astronomy Group!


For all of you who didn’t catch it, following is the link to the article.


And those who don’t read Arabic, the next links are follow up articles by other news vendors. 

In the articles, H.E. Hussein Nasser Lootah talks of the project, and states that the project is the most interesting and prominent projects of astronomy, and is expected to be a center for observing the various astronomical phenomena. This would be a source of reference for all students, researchers, and interested parties, and is the first project of its kind where an observatory will be open and available to the public and amateur astronomers.
He adds, “The idea of the project is to create an integrated science center with an Astronomy Academy, a center for exploration, and an observatory with a world-class, telescope, complete with all its accessories for observation and astrophotography, and equipment to transfer live images to large screens and exhibition halls, in cooperation with Dubai Astronomy Group”.

It will also be the home to educational courses, scientific lectures, hosting scientists and organizations for large scale scientific conferences. He stressed that the strategic partnership between Dubai Municipality and Dubai Group of Astronomy will be based on the operation and management of the facility as the scientific and specialist body, where this project is to be one of the first basic service projects of Dubai Municipality, which will contribute in creating a generation passionate about astronomy within schools and universities. The project aims mainly to be a scientific entertainment and aid tourism, as the nation gears up for the Space Age. 

Space Age
H.E Hussein Nasser Lootah says, “It is not a secret that this era is of Astronomy and Space and that can be concluded by the great scientific progress of humans and the various devices used in daily life, such as satellite and different TV channels of and communication devices. Space and science are the main engine of technological progress in this day and age. And as our ancestors have said that astronomy is the crown jewel in education, hence the municipality launched the project of the Thuraya Astronomy Center, an astronomical observatory available and open to the public and amateur astronomers. The primary objective is to provide scientific entertainment and happiness to the people, and in addition to that, it would be a place dedicated to scientific tourism in the Emirate, especially now that the UAE has already started to reach into space and study it closely.”

We would like to take this moment to thank our government for this wonderful initiative and all our well-wishers for their constant support and their faith in our efforts. We take it upon ourselves to exceed their expectations and much more.

And for all of you that have been anxious ever since you saw what the building looks like, here is a quick sneak peek into what the Thuraya Astronomy Center would look like from the inside!

Thank you all for your unwavering support. We couldn’t have done it without you. And we hope for your continuous support, as we venture further to create more and more gateways for you to explore the universe!

Super Moon - Monday, November 14

 Thanks to everyone attended the event, here is image of Super Moon


Entire lifetimes have come and gone without the moon looking quite as large as it will this month. On November 14th, sky gazers will witness the closest full moon, or “super moon,” of 2016. But more excitingly, it’ll be the closest full moon since 1948—and we won’t get another one like it until 2034.

The reason the moon appears to shrink and grow in the sky is that its orbit is not a perfect circle, but rather, a modest ellipse. As the moon swings between its closest point (perigee) and its furthest point (apogee), its distance to Earth varies by approximately 30,000 miles. This translates to a size variation comparable to the difference between a nickel and a quarter.

All will be requested to present their Membership ID Number (Associate/Student/Free Members) at the reception. If you are already registered with us on our website, please follow THIS LINK to login and find out your ID number.

If you/group members are not registered with our website you are requested to register yourself/them via THIS LINK

Join us with friends and family as we celebrate the biggest "super moon" on 2016 at Mushrif Park. The event is free for all. We look forward to having you there with us!

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.

Astro Photographer of the year 2016

In pictures: Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016

Please click the following link :



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

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.

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.

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. 

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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