Jordanian astronomer honored by International Astronomical Union

Mohammad Shawkat Odeh
Engineer Mohammad Shawkat Odeh. (Photo: Facebook)
AMMAN — Renowned Jordanian astronomer, Engineer Mohammad Shawkat Odeh, Director of the International Astronomy Center in Abu Dhabi, has received a remarkable honor from the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The IAU has chosen to name one of the previously designated asteroids, (RS 2001), after Odeh, in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the field of astronomy. اضافة اعلان

This prestigious acknowledgment is a testament to his remarkable efforts in establishing the UAE Meteor Monitoring Network and overseeing the Abu Dhabi Astronomical Seal Observatory, Ammon News reported.

In a statement released by the International Astronomy Center in Abu Dhabi, Engineer Odeh expressed his gratitude for the recognition.

He explained that the UAE Meteor Monitoring Network, established in 2017, encompasses three stations strategically positioned across the expansive Abu Dhabi desert. Equipped with advanced technology, the network automatically captures images of meteors as they streak across the sky.

The data collected is then analyzed to determine the meteors' trajectories and origins. The network's continued operation has been instrumental in the discovery of 12 previously unknown meteor showers, which have been officially documented by the IAU.

A first of its kind
Engineer Odeh further highlighted his collaboration with a team of dedicated enthusiasts in establishing the Astronomical Seal Observatory in 2021. The observatory has emerged as the region's first fully automated facility of its kind. Through its cutting-edge capabilities, the observatory actively monitors a wide range of astronomical phenomena and conducts comprehensive studies on asteroids, with a particular focus on recently discovered ones.

The Jordanian astronomer's significant contributions extend beyond meteor monitoring and asteroid research.

He has undertaken numerous projects and conducted extensive studies on moon sighting and prayer times calculation.

In 1999, Engineer Odeh founded the Islamic Project for Moon Sighting, an initiative that meticulously tracks the crescent moon on a monthly basis. The project's findings are consistently published on the International Astronomy Center's website, contributing to accurate and reliable information regarding the sighting of new Hijri months.

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