Solar eclipse stirs up enthusiasm


Solar eclipse stirs up enthusiasm

DUBAI - As residents of the UAE get set to witness a partial solar eclipse today, experts have cautioned people against looking directly at the sun.

By Joy Sengupta

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Published: Fri 1 Aug 2008, 2:03 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:59 PM

Speaking to Khaleej Times on Wednesday, Hasan Ahmad Al Hariri, Chief Editor of the Dubai Astronomy Group, said an observatory has been set up at the Wellington School on Shaikh Zayed Road.

Hariri advised the people to take precautions if they intended to watch the partial eclipse.

'Under no circumstances should people look towards the sun directly. There are many people who are not aware about the dangers attached. Many a time, we find the adults making the same mistake which is a source of danger for the children. Looking at the sun could have irreparable effects on one's vision. The best way to watch the eclipse will be on television as a lot of satellite channels will be covering the event,' he pointed out.

'The eclipse will start around 2.40pm and continue will 4.30pm. An observatory has been set up at the school premises for the members and the media. We will also hold a lot of activities during this time, including a narration of the event in both English and Arabic, information about the eclipse, in general etc. The whole event will be telecast live on a big screen and we will also be distributing leaflets about the different superstitions attached to such eclipses,' he said.

Hariri said the last time Dubai witnessed a solar eclipse was in the year 1847 - that was a total solar eclipse.

'The emirate, though, has witnessed quite a few partial solar eclipses. The next total solar eclipse will happen in 2019,' he said.

Also, the emirate will witness a meteor shower on August 12 and a partial lunar eclipse on August 16.

Hariri added that a lot of calls both from within the country and from overseas are coming in with people enquiring about the dos and don'ts.

'Many calls are related to superstitions attached to the eclipse. We are getting calls from places as far as Iran with people asking whether pregnant women should watch the eclipse, whether the sick people can go out during the the eclipse period etc. People should know that the eclipse is a scientific phenomenon and has got no spiritual effects. The eclipse only has effects on the tides,' he said.

Meanwhile, most of the people felt that the eclipse would not hamper their daily routine in any way. 'It will not hamper my daily routine. Moreover, it is only a partial eclipse which will not have any effects. I plan to continue my daily chores,' said Liju Verghese, an Indian national.

Harvinder Singh, another Indian national, said he got a call from his mother back home asking him to remain indoors. 'She told me about a lot of superstitions like not holding sharp objects and staying indoors. But I don’t believe in them and will continue with my daily work,' he said.


Comment: Many people including adults are still unaware of the consequences regarding solar eclipse. The information given was very useful so as said by media the best way to watch solar eclipse is through television & telling children the harmful effects of its.

Name: Noor Qureshi


Location Dubai

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