UAE: Will upcoming solar eclipse be visible to residents?

When the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, it will completely block the face of the Sun — causing the sky to darken as if it were dawn or dusk

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Nandini Sircar

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Published: Sun 18 Feb 2024, 4:33 PM

Last updated: Sun 7 Apr 2024, 10:02 AM

Sky-gazers around the world are anticipating a spectacular celestial event on April 8, although UAE residents might only witness a partial solar eclipse due to its location.

A total solar eclipse will be visible in North America, passing over Mexico, the United States and Canada. The rare astronomical phenomenon will begin over the South Pacific Ocean.


According to the NASA website, “A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. The sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk.”

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Experts in the UAE highlighted that solar eclipses, including hybrid ones, provide an opportunity for scientists to study the Sun's corona (the outermost part of the Sun's atmosphere).

Sarath Raj, Project Director – Amity Dubai Satellite Ground Station and AmiSat, Amity University Dubai, said, “A total solar eclipse depends on how large the apparent size of the Moon appears in our sky. The diameter of the Moon is nearly 400 times smaller than that of the Sun, but so is its distance from Earth. This coincidence allows the Moon to totally hide the Sun during an eclipse.”

Sarath Raj
Sarath Raj

He explained in a total solar eclipse, the Moon’s shadow can be divided into two sections — the umbra, which is the darkest part where the Sun is fully obscured, causing a period of total darkness called totality; and the penumbra, the outer region where the Sun is partly obscured, resulting in a partial eclipse in nearby regions.

When will the eclipse peak in UAE?

“Unfortunately, the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, will not be visible in the UAE as it will be passing over North America. Due to the specific path of the eclipse's totality, the UAE won't have the opportunity to witness the complete blockage of the Sun this time around. The path of totality is the narrow strip on the Earth's surface where observers can experience a total solar eclipse. The duration of totality during a total solar eclipse varies based on the observer's location within the path, ranging from a few seconds to a maximum of about 7 minutes,” added Raj.

“However, on April 8, UAE residents will only experience a partial solar eclipse, with the percentage of the Sun covered varying depending on your location, expected to be around 10-20 per cent. The eclipse will begin at sunrise and the peak time, occurring around 7.45am UAE time will showcase the maximum dimming of the Sun during this celestial event.”

How can it be viewed?

Except for the short phase of a total solar eclipse, when the Moon fully obscures the Sun's luminous surface, it is unsafe to gaze directly at the Sun without appropriate eye protection designed for solar observation.

Instant and severe eye injury can occur if any portion of the Sun is viewed through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a specially designed solar filter securely affixed to the front of the optics.

When observing the partial phases of a solar eclipse directly with the naked eye, occurring before and after totality, it is important to use safe solar viewing glasses commonly known as 'eclipse glasses’ or a secure handheld solar viewer throughout the entire duration.

Other key celestial events

In addition to the partial solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, residents in the UAE can anticipate another partial solar eclipse on August 2, 2027, and a total lunar eclipse on July 27, 2029.

Two more total lunar eclipses, visible from anywhere in the UAE where the Moon is above the horizon, are set for July 27, 2029, and November 19, 2034.

Raj added, “The next completely visible total solar eclipse from the UAE will occur on March 20, 2034. Residents in the UAE can also anticipate various meteor showers throughout the year, including the Eta Aquariid in May, Delta Aquariid in July, Perseid in August, Orionid in October and Geminid in December.”

The last total solar eclipse visible in the UAE was in November 2003, while the last annular solar eclipse, which creates a 'ring of fire' effect as the Moon doesn't completely block the Sun, occurred in December 2019.

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