UAE: 2 meteor showers to light up skies with up to 100 shooting stars an hour

Missed the solar eclipse last week? Fret not, 2 stunning celestial events will more than make up for it

By Lamya Tawfik

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Published: Tue 1 Nov 2022, 6:36 AM

Last updated: Tue 1 Nov 2022, 2:01 PM

If you missed the partial social eclipse this week, do not worry, there will be more celestial events taking place soon. In fact, two meteor showers are expected to light the UAE skies.

In exactly 16 days on November 17 and 18 the Leonid meteor shower, coming from the Leo constellation, will take place. Nearly 90 shooting stars per hour are expected to be seen despite the fact that the shower will coincide with a full moon, according to Hasan Al Hariri, CEO, Dubai Astronomy Group and Founder of the Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre.


Just in time for the festive season, the sky will be illuminated again during the Geminids meteor shower on December 13 and 14. It is a spectacular astronomical event which is much anticipated by stargazers who can expect to see nearly 100 meteors per hours.

Planning a camping trip during the upcoming cool season, why not plan it during one of these events? Just make sure that you are in the desert from 2am till dawn – the optimal meteor shower viewing window.


The Leonid meteor shower originates from the constellation Leo the Lion. In 1966, it produced one of the greatest meteor storms known to mankind with thousands of meteors per minute in a 15-minute span. The Geminids meteor shower are caused by an asteroid – the 3200 Phaethon, making it one of the few meteor showers that are not started by a comet.

On October 25, a rare partial solar eclipse was seen in the UAE. The moon, sun and earth don’t align perfectly in a straight line during a partial solar eclipse, so it appears as though the moon has taken a “bite” out of the sun. UAE residents will have to wait till 2027 to see the next one in the UAE.

Observing celestial events is important because it moves people from the realm of superstition to that of science and knowledge, said Al Hariri. “Astrologers have made people fear celestial activities and so it’s important to understand them. This is the age of space exploration, we need to develop and to explore the universe with real knowledge,” he added.

You can join one of the Dubai Astronomy Group’s special camping trips for these two events where you can expect to learn more about the showers while you observe them with other space aficionados.

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