Doha-Based Astronomer Brings Moon, Planets Closer To Souq Waqif

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Marivie Alabanza | The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: At night, look up at the sky. Can you spot the moon? Imagine seeing its craters and intricate surface details up close. Thanks to Egyptian astronomer Amro Mahmoud Fathi Attia, you can.

Attia has set up his powerful telescope at Souq Waqif's Eastern Square, opposite the Fanar mosque, offering visitors a live view of our nearest celestial neighbour.

“Visitors to Souq Waqif have been my beloved audience since I started this journey in 2016. It gives me great joy whenever they tell me that I've fulfilled a dream they've always had. This makes me very happy,” Attia told The Peninsula.

Picture provided to The Peninsula

For over eight years, Attia has enchanted countless sky-watchers with views of the moon and planets. For just QR10, his Meade LX10 EMC 8-inch telescope has become a major attraction, drawing countless residents and tourists eager to glimpse the moon and planets up close.

“I thank the Souq Waqif management, particularly Director Mohammed Al Salem, for allowing me to set up my equipment. My telescope is somewhat old but strong and versatile. It is capable of monitoring celestial objects and some deep-space nebulae,” said Attia.

Attia's passion for astronomy began early; and in ninth grade, he built his first telescope. A school field trip to the Helwan Observatory further fuelled his interest, leading him to take courses in optics and deepen his astronomical knowledge.

“I especially enjoy seeing children's happiness after they see the moon up close,” Attia shared.“One funny situation I'll never forget is a child who believed he would go to the moon through the telescope and said goodbye to his family before looking through the lens.”

The experience leaves a lasting impression on visitors. Aisha, a tourist from Tunisia, expressed her excitement:“I've never seen the moon so clearly before! It's like you can reach out and touch it.” Local resident Ramon added,“It's incredible to see the craters and details on the moon's surface. My kids loved it!”

“Astronomy and astronomical observation are the most important things in my life, something that runs in my blood,” Attia told The Peninsula. I cannot live a normal life without observing the sky. On cloudy nights, it's a forced vacation for me.”

When the night sky is clear, the moon can be observed year-round. The sun, Attia said, can be monitored daily using protective filters, though he cautions against direct viewing due to potential eye and equipment damage.

Attia mentioned that some planets can be observed five to six months a year.“These days, Saturn can be seen starting at midnight, Mars at 3 am, and Jupiter before sunrise.”

“I want to give people an opportunity to see the moon live through my telescope,” he said.“It's also important to inspire the next generation of astronomers.”

So, if you find yourself at Souq Waqif on a clear night, don't miss the chance to explore the moon and learn more about it through Attia's powerful telescope and expert guidance.


The Peninsula

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