Super blue blood moon: UAE set for rare lunar treat this Wednesday

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Super blue blood moon: UAE set for rare lunar treat this Wednesday
The UAE residents will have only three to four minutes to see the total super moon eclipse.

Dubai - The UAE residents will have only three to four minutes to see the total super moon eclipse.

By Sarwat Nasir

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Published: Mon 29 Jan 2018, 8:00 PM

An extremely rare celestial event will be taking over the UAE skies on January 31 - a 'Super Moon Eclipse' will occur. A similar event took place 55 years ago.
This is the first time, in a long time, that an eclipse will occur simultaneously as a super moon, causing the eclipse to appear closer and bigger. However, the UAE residents will have only three to four minutes to see the total super moon eclipse.
For those who want to see the entire process of the moon exiting the eclipse, the duration will be an hour. 
According to the Dubai Astronomy Group, the super moon occurrence will cause the moon to be 10 to 13 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter.
"The last time I saw a super moon eclipse was when I was 14; so this event is very rare," Hasan Al Hariri, CEO of Dubai Astronomy Group, told Khaleej Times. "As the earth passes in between the sun and the moon on January 31, the earth's shadow will fall onto the moon to give us a total lunar eclipse. The moon will be entirely inside the earth's dark umbral shadow and will last a bit more than one-and-a-quarter hours. The full moon is also the third in a series of three straight full moon super moons."
Al Hariri said the spectacular show won't be visible to just the UAE residents, but also to people in the Americas and throughout the pacific. He also clarified certain rumours that were circulating on social media that the event will also witness a 'blue moon'.
He explained that, because of the dust and atmospheric conditions, the moon may appear slightly blue. However, the moon, itself, does not actually change colours.
"A blue moon is an additional full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year, either the third of four full moons in a season or a second full moon in a month of the common calendar. The phrase has nothing to do with the actual color of the moon, although a literal 'blue moon' (the moon appearing with a tinge of blue) may occur in certain atmospheric conditions, for example, if volcanic eruptions or fires leave particles in the atmosphere of just the right size to preferentially scatter red light," he said.
The maximal eclipse in Dubai will be visible at 6.04pm and the total eclipse will end at 6.07pm. The partial eclipse will end at 7.11pm. 
The Dubai Astronomy Group will be holding an event for the UAE residents to witness the celestial event on January 31 at the Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre, where people can do naked eye observation, telescopic observation, astro-photography opportunity of the eclipse for public, presentation, talk and question and answer session followed by planetarium show and astro-cinema. 
Al Hariri is encouraging residents to join the event by the astronomy group to learn more about celestial events. He said many people are "afraid" of eclipses and believe them to be "bad luck" because of false warnings issued by astrologers, which he said is not science.
Residents can register for the event by Dubai Astronomy Group at https://www.q-tickets.com/ . Tickets for the event cost Dh10 for kids, Dh20 for adults and Dh30 for a family of four members.

What is a lunar eclipse? 

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly behind the earth into its umbra. This can occur only when the sun, earth, and moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the earth in the middle.

What is a super moon?

A super moon is a full moon or a new moon that approximately coincides with the closest distance that the moon reaches to earth in its elliptic orbit (less than 360,000km), resulting in a larger-than-usual apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from earth.

What is a blue moon?

A blue moon is an additional full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year, either the third of four full moons in a season, or a second full moon in a month of the common calendar. The phrase has nothing to do with the actual color of the moon, although a literal "blue moon" (the moon appearing with a tinge of blue) may occur in certain atmospheric conditions, for example, if volcanic eruptions or fires leave particles in the atmosphere of just the right size to preferentially scatter red light. 

What is a first blue moon total eclipse in 150 years?

That entirely depends on where you live. News of this being the first total eclipse blue moon in 150 years has been making its rounds on social media. But that is true only for time zones in and around the Americas, not for the rest of the world. The last time that we had a total eclipse blue moon - reckoning in world time (UTC, or GMT) - was December 30, 1982

What time can Dubai residents witness the super moon eclipse? 

Residents will have only three minutes to see the total super moon eclipse, however, the entire process of the moon exiting the eclipse will be for an hour.
> Maximal eclipse at 6.04pm
> Total eclipse will end at 6.07pm
> Partial eclipse will end at 7.11pm

How to observe the eclipse in the UAE?

Hasan Al Hariri, CEO of Dubai Astronomy Group has stated that to observe this amazing opportunity people are advised to go to a high point or finding an unobstructed area with free sight to east-northeast for the best view of the eclipse.
 
sarwat@khaleejtimes.com
 



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