UAE lunar eclipse tonight: Watch Earth’s shadow fall on Moon; timings, how to get best view explained

UAE residents missed out on the ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse, but an Emirati team captured stunning images of the celestial event


Sahim Salim

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Published: Tue 17 Oct 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sat 28 Oct 2023, 8:14 PM

UAE residents missed seeing the stunning ‘ring of fire’ annular solar eclipse that wowed the other side of the globe earlier this month. However, another breathtaking celestial spectacle — a lunar eclipse — will darken the night sky and it will be visible in the UAE.

On Saturday, October 28, make sure you look up as the Earth’s shadow dims the lunar surface when it passes between the Sun and Moon.

“Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are visible from a broader geographic area, making it a collective experience for skygazers,” said the Dubai Astronomy Group (DAG).

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How to get the best view

The spectacle can be viewed from anywhere in the UAE. The best way to catch it is “from any open area that has a clear view of the path of Moon”, Sheeraz Ahmad Awan, general manager at DAG, told Khaleej Times.

For a more educational experience, the DAG will host an event on the night at Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre. “We will be setting up the event in our open backyard that can accommodate several hundred people.”

You don’t need special equipment to watch the event, but a telescope will help get a better view. It’s safe to look at a lunar eclipse with the naked eye, which is not the case when it comes to its solar counterpart.

Timings of the eclipse revealed

According to Awan, the duration of the partial eclipse is 1 hour and 17 minutes, while the overall one lasts 4 hours and 25 minutes.

Awan broke down the timings of the different phases of the eclipse:

- Penumbral eclipse starts at 10.01pm

- Partial eclipse starts at 11.35pm

- Maximum eclipse at 12.14am (Sun, October 29 after midnight)

- Partial eclipse ends at 12.52am

- Penumbral eclipse ends at 2.26am

“These … celestial events are not just about watching the sky; they are about enhancing our understanding of the universe, strengthening international cooperation in science, and inspiring the next generation of astronomers,” the DAG added.

According to Space, this is the second lunar eclipse of the year after a penumbral one on May 5. “That eclipse saw the full Flower Moon pass through the outermost part of Earth's shadow, known as the penumbra,” the space publication said.

Dimming the Sun

On Friday, October 14, some parts of the globe saw the Moon align perfectly with the Sun that left a golden ring of sunlight visible around the Moon's silhouette. According to the DAG, this marked the solar eclipse in the United States until 2046.

The DAG sent a team led by Khadijah Ahmad to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta that live-streamed the event to the UAE audience. It also captured some incredible images of the eclipse:

The team also hosted panel discussions, workshops and interviews, and distributed over 5,000 solar eclipse glasses.

Abu Dhabi-based International Astronomy Centre posted a collage of images of the astronomical event, while stressing it was not visible from the Arab world:

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