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Rare solar eclipse to be visible: When and how to watch in UAE

Sarwat Nasir/Dubai
Filed on November 21, 2019
Rare solar eclipse, UAE today

The rare astronomical phenomenon has returned to the UAE after 172 years.

A 'ring of fire' is set to be visible over the UAE skies next month, a spectacle that hasn't occurred in the country since 1847.

The event is called an annular solar eclipse and occurs when the moon covers majority of the sun, except its outer edges - creating a bright solar ring around the moon, often called a 'ring of fire'.

The rare astronomical phenomenon has returned to the UAE after 172 years and will only be visible from Abu Dhabi's Liwa area for a brief two to three minutes on December 26.

The sun will be covered 91.93 per cent, which will create quite a stellar treat for observers.

"The significance of this event is that it's happening after almost 172 years. The last time we saw an annular eclipse like this was in 1847. Scientifically, we are definitely studying this eclipse and it's beautiful," Hasan Al Hariri, CEO of the Dubai Astronomy Group, told Khaleej Times.

"This eclipse doesn't happen as frequently as the total eclipse, which is more common. Observing such an event is also quite spectacular. It will be seen from majority of the world - from Asia all the way to the Philippines. Most of the areas will be covered, Africa and even Siberia, but in partial phases.

"The eclipse will start in Qatif area, above Riyadh, and it'll go downward to the UAE's southern portion, which is the Liwa area. Then it'll make its way to Oman, over the Indian Ocean to Sri Lanka and then to Europe."
sarwat@khaleejtimes.com

UAE timings to view the event

. Duration: 2 hours 21 minutes 32 seconds
. Duration of annularity: 2 minutes 47 seconds
. Sunrise: 7.01.39 am
. Full annular eclipse begins: 7.35.21am
. Maximum: 7.36.43am
. Full annular eclipse ends: 7.38.08am
. Partial ends: 8.52.34am
(Times are shown in local time)

Don't watch with naked eyes

. Watching the annular solar eclipse with naked eyes could damage the eyes and even cause blindness

. Observers should use proper equipment to view the event and visit qualified astronomy centres

The annular phase will only be visible from Liwa.

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