Dubai: UAE residents will be able to see two phenomena in the night sky on August 12 - the Supermoon and Perseids meteor shower.
The Supermoon will appear bigger than how the moon normally appears. Not only will it be draped in orange hues—as every rising Moon is when seen on the horizon—but the full “Sturgeon Moon” also happens to be the final Supermoon of 2022.
What is a Supermoon?
The term is used to describe the point at which the moon’s orbit gets the closest to earth. It results in a slightly larger than usual size of the lunar disk.
Perseids meteor shower
The celestial show is one of the highlights of many meteor hunters’ calendars due to its high hourly rate and bright meteors, caused by the Earth slamming into the debris left behind by comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle in July and August every year.
It is called the Perseids because the meteors seem to originate from the constellation of Perseus. Astronomers call this point the meteor shower’s radiant.
The 2022 Perseids meteor shower is expected to peak on the night of August 12 and 13 in this region. However, the full bright Supermoon will complicate viewing the meteor shower’s peak. Nevertheless, astronomers expect a not-to-be-missed show.
How to watch
Dubai Astronomy Group CEO Hasan Al Hariri said people don’t need any special equipment or skills to view a meteor shower. All that is needed is a clear sky and a secluded viewing spot away from the city lights. And to observe the supermoon for photography, the best time is when the moon rises. It is advised that people should go to a high point or find a clear area for the best view of the supermoon.
Special views from Jebel Jais
Dubai Astronomy Group will host a special event on August 12 at the top of the highest peak in the UAE, the Jebel Jais mountain. The event will be from 9pm to 2am, and it will include viewing of the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn through a telescope; a strophotography session; sky mapping; naked-eye observation of the meteors, and more.