Look: Suhail star spotted in UAE skies, marks end of summer heat

Celestial event also traditionally signals start of country's hunting season



By Web Desk

Published: Wed 24 Aug 2022, 12:20 PM

Last updated: Wed 24 Aug 2022, 10:20 PM

Good news, UAE! Astronomers in the country reported the sighting of the much-anticipated Suhail star at dawn on Wednesday, marking an end to the sweltering summer heat.

The sighting comes as a relief to many as the mercury hit 50°C multiple times this summer.

According to the International Astronomy Center, the Suhail star is the second brightest in the sky after Sirius. It is approximately 313 light years away from Earth and can be seen until late winter in the Arabian Peninsula.

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Ibrahim Al Jarwan, member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences had earlier explained that the Suhail star was known to the Arabs since ancient times. It found prominent mention in Arab poetry, stories, and Bedouin sayings.

"People in the past based their fishing and farming activities on this star. The appearance of Suhail also traditionally marks the start of the hunting season."

The Suhail star also marks the beginning of an ancient Arab calendar called Drour, says Hasan Al Hariri, CEO, Dubai Astronomy Group, dividing a year into segments of 10 days each.

“Gradually, the temperatures will come down... I asked an elder once how he would determine the appearance of the Suhail star. He said he would dip his hand in the desert sand. If the lower layer was cool, it meant Suhail had risen.”

The star is also very prominent in the art and literature of UAE nationals and often depicted as a symbol of love and pureness of heart.


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