UAE residents may have missed the ‘ring of fire’ annular solar eclipse, but they can still catch another celestial wonder. A lunar eclipse is set to grace the night sky later this month, and it’s going to be visible in the UAE.
On Saturday, October 28, residents of the UAE are encouraged to gaze skyward as Earth’s shadow gradually darkens the lunar surface during its passage between the Sun and Moon.
Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses offer a wider geographic viewing area, making it a collective experience for skywatchers, as noted by the Dubai Astronomy Group (DAG).
Lunar Eclipse: How to Get the Best View
The lunar eclipse can be observed from anywhere in the UAE, but for the optimal experience, Sheeraz Ahmad Awan, General Manager at DAG, suggests choosing an open area with a clear view of the Moon’s path.
For those seeking a more educational encounter, DAG will host an event at the Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre, set in their open backyard that can comfortably accommodate several hundred people.
While special equipment is not necessary to witness the lunar eclipse, having a telescope on hand can enhance the viewing experience. Unlike solar eclipses, it is perfectly safe to observe a lunar eclipse with the naked eye.
Timings of the Eclipse
According to Awan, the partial eclipse will last for 1 hour and 17 minutes, while the complete eclipse will span 4 hours and 25 minutes. Here are the timings for the different phases of the eclipse:
- Penumbral eclipse commences at 10:01 pm.
- Partial eclipse begins at 11:35 pm.
- Maximum eclipse occurs at 12:14 am (Sunday, October 29, after midnight).
- Partial eclipse ends at 12:52 am.
- Penumbral eclipse concludes at 2:26 am.
The DAG emphasizes that celestial events such as lunar eclipses offer not only an opportunity to gaze at the sky but also a chance to deepen our understanding of the universe, foster international cooperation in science, and inspire the next generation of astronomers.
This lunar eclipse is the second of the year, following a penumbral eclipse on May 5. During the May eclipse, the full Flower Moon passed through the outermost part of Earth’s shadow, known as the penumbra.
A Glimpse at the Recent Solar Eclipse
On Friday, October 14, some parts of the world marveled at a rare alignment of the Moon and the Sun, creating a stunning golden ring of sunlight around the Moon’s silhouette. According to the DAG, this marked the last solar eclipse visible in the United States until 2046.
The DAG sent a team led by Khadijah Ahmad to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which live-streamed the event to the UAE audience and captured breathtaking eclipse images. They also conducted panel discussions, workshops, and interviews, and distributed over 5,000 solar eclipse glasses.
While the solar eclipse wasn’t visible from the Arab world, the Abu Dhabi-based International Astronomy Centre posted a collage of images from the event to highlight its celestial beauty.
The UAE is all set to witness another celestial spectacle, so mark your calendars and get ready to be awed by the beauty of the lunar eclipse on October 28. Whether you’re an astronomy enthusiast or just curious about the wonders of the universe, this event promises to be a spectacular experience for all.