The opportunity to gaze up close at some planets in the solar system through a powerful telescope is one of the attractions at Souq Waqif these days.
For QR5, Egyptian astronomer Amro Mahmoud told Gulf Times that Souq visitors will have the opportunity to see Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars at real time using his telescope.
“They will be able to see these three planets every night from 8pm,” he said. “But it is very difficult to see Mercury because it is so small, we must be on a higher place to see it.”
In addition, he noted that Mercury is not clearly seen compared with other planets since it is nearer to the sun.
Mahmoud advises residents to visit Souq at 8pm if they want to get a clear view (except when sky is cloudy) of Jupiter and some of its 16 moons.
He said the biggest planet in the solar system can only be viewed from Doha for one month while Saturn and Mars will stay for three more months.
“Then after these planets go, Venus will appear for at least three months also,” added Mahmoud, an Optics graduate at Tanta University in Egypt.
Sana, a young Indian student, told Gulf Times it was her first time to see planets through a telescope.
“I am really so amazed especially with Saturn, its ring seems to be rotating very fast, and it is so bright,” she said. “Mars is also stunning, it’s like a fireball.”
She added that she is excited to share her experience to classmates when the school opens.
Like Sana, Mahmoud said he loves to see Saturn, a favourite planet by many just like other first timers who were fascinated by its elegance and brightness.
The astronomer expressed interest to visit some of the schools in Qatar to give students an opportunity to see the planets live via his telescope.
“It takes time to study how planets come and go,” he stressed, adding that he spent 10 years in Egypt and two years in Qatar observing how celestial objects in the solar system move.
He hopes that he can help contribute in educating young students in various schools about the planets.
Mahmoud said people can visit his place at Souq, just opposite the Fanar mosque, every night until 1am. Purchased online from the US, the astronomer noted that his telescope is 200 times powerful than an ordinary one.
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