Zuhair's Deep Space Page

moon phase info

Mars, the red planet,
named after the ancient Roman God of War,
the best photo taken by Hubble Telescope

The Red Planet

"Now, and in the foreseeable future, when a comet or asteroid is found heading Earth’s way, there will be nothing that can be done to stop it, given the current funding and planning. We are laid open and totally unprepared, with the only option to be an announcement that emergency steps are underway that may be able to, or might prevent, or should do this or that, or “the government will do all that can possibly be done, etc.? It will be a frantic scramble with a hopeful, yet dubious outcome. Or worse, there will be no time for a scramble, except into a hole in the ground for all the good that’ll do.

Researchers, operating under a tiny trickle of the money shower primed to fall on Lockheed, have only found an estimated half of the large asteroid bodies that can wipe out or seriously reduce civilization as we know it, and they have nothing in the pipeline to deal with the threat."

Sun, Earth and the planets

The Sun and Planets

Click: Earth in True Perspective

Outer Space
by Carol Weston

I look up from Earth and try to see
The planets looking back at me.
I gaze at bright and distant stars
And search for Mercury, Venus, Mars.
I squint at the Milky Way way up high
And look for Jupiter in the sky.
Where are Saturn, Uranus, Neptune?
They're far away, high like the moon.
A telescope would be the best
For spotting Pluto and the rest.
I look for planets in the sky

"The mystery of the universe
And the beauty it displays
The peacefulness of a silent night
Will develop into beautiful days."


Earth and Moon Viewer

In the year 2003 I started thinking seriously of exploring Outer Space. I bought the first telescope with wooden tripod mount, from Japan, about 30 years ago. It was a 4" Refractor Telescope.

My children and I used to have fun, looking at the planets, stars and most important the moon. It was a great excitement, especially for the children. Later on, about 20 years ago, I bought 10" Dobsonian reflecting telescope.

It had a very primitive mount and manually operated. It was difficult to keep tracking the moving moon or planets.

Then, while surfing the internet searching for telescopes, I found Meade's telescopes to be a good choice. So I decided to buy Meade's 12" LX200GPS with UHC Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

I am grateful to my brother Miqdad for his generous gift, as he made the order and paid for the telescope, arranged for shipping, cleared the cargo at the customs authorities in Amman and gave it to me as a present. I appreciate and value his great gift very much.

This telescope is heavy and not suitable to carry around. So, I decided to build an observatory. My choice was a roll off roof observatory, and it was built in a record time by our family owned factory, managed and run by my nephew Eng. Mohammad Annab M.Annab & Company. The roof is motor driven and has a remote control.

August 22,03

August 25, 03

September 1, 03

September 5, 03 "Mirabella Observatory"

At first I thought of replacing the tripod mount with a pier of steel and concrete, to have more space around, but later I settled with the tripod mount, which is very steady.

Handling the telescope and the software at the computer needed team work. The team members were: our friend Hisham Majali, my son Hassan and myself. Mr. Majali is a telecommunication engineer and is a great help with his long experience.

12" LX200GPS Telescope

The telescope is operated by Autostar II keypad. Nearly all functions of the telescope are accomplished with just a few push buttons. Accurate GPS (Global Positioning System) alignment and High-Precision Pointing to within one arc-minute. The GPS receiver attempts to acquire and sync up with signals from GPS satellites. There are 145,000 objects stored in the telescope's computer. The backlit display and sequential menu structure make Autostar II extremely user friendly. It is absolutely state-of-the-art optical, mechanical, and electronic telescope. Later I bought Meade's LPI (Lunar Planetary Imager), Meade's Pictor 216XT CCD Autoguider/Imager and finally ToUcam - Philips PRO II PCVC840KToU.

It takes time and needs lots of patience practicing and taking reasonably good space images.

Click to see the photos we captured

Click and watch
moonrise over Mount Victoria Lookout in Wellington , New Zealand

Click to watch the surface of Mars
like you have never seen before

Armstrong footprint and
the Apollo 11 lunar laser ranging retroreflector array,
studded with 100 mirrors pointing at Earth, on the moon
in the Sea of Tranquility, which is still running today

Click to read: Parachuting to Titan, the biggest mystery in the solar system

A useful link

Click and watch a beautiful slideshow

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