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UAE will experience a 86.31 per cent partical eclipse on June 21 Image Credit: Dubai Astronomy Club

Dubai: The UAE will witness a rare partial solar eclipse on June 21 with 86.31 per cent of the sun covered by the moon, Dubai Astronomy Club have announced in a circular on Saturday.

The phenomena will last two hours 57 minutes and 17 seconds from 8.14am until 11.12am with the maximum eclipse timed at around 9.36am.

Solar eclipses occur, when the Moon moves between Earth and the Sun and the three celestial bodies align.

The Moon’s shadow is not big enough to engulf the entire planet, so the shadow is always limited to a certain area. This area changes during the eclipse because the Moon and Earth are in constant motion. Solar eclipses are only visible from within the area where the shadow falls, and the closer you are to the centre of the shadow’s path, the bigger the eclipse looks, read a statement from Dubai Astronomy Club.

The annular phase of this solar eclipse - the ring of fire, where a ring of sun appears around the moon - is not visible in Dubai, but it can be observed here as a partial solar eclipse. The Moon covers a large portion of the Sun, so this is still a spectacular sight.

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Map of where the eclipse will be visible in this region - the red line denotes where the Ring of Fire will be seen in its entirety Image Credit: Dubai Astronomy Club

The annular phase of this solar eclipse is visible from parts of Africa including the Central African Republic, Congo, and Ethiopia; south of Pakistan and northern India; and China. Weather permitting, people in these areas will see the characteristic ring of fire.

Regions seeing, at least, a partial eclipse include; South/East Europe, much of Asia, North of Australia, much of Africa, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

Dubai Astronomy Group CEO Hassan Al Hariri said that this partial solar eclipse is massive in term of solar disk coverage by the moon and it is an amazing opportunity for UAE residents to observe this celestial phenomena with precautions. He insists that everyone must protect their eyes.

“Never look at the Sun, eclipsed or otherwise, without proper eye protection, like eclipse glasses,” he said. “The Sun’s rays can burn the retinas in the eyes leading to permanent damage or even blindness. A safe way to watch a solar eclipse is to wear protective eclipse glasses or to project an image of the eclipsed Sun using a pinhole projector.”

Al Hariri added that we witnessed many incidents after the last solar eclipse in December 2019, where people didn’t care about their protection and the result was devastation.

In India, Rajasthan, several school children damaged their retinas, fully and partially, by observing the solar eclipse without proper protection.

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Specialist glasses are required to view the eclipse Image Credit: Dubai Astronomy Club

“Please be much more careful than the last event because this time, the eclipse will start at 08:14am, when most of the public will already be outside or maybe on way to office, unlike last time when it was earlier,” he added.

A Dubai Astronomy Group representative said that solar eclipse glasses are one of the most easy and safest options. ISO certified solar eclipse glasses are available at Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre for Dh20 each. Dubai Astronomy Group will also telecast the live view of the Solar Eclipse from Dubai and many other cities of the world.

Eclipse dos and don’ts

  • Don’t...
  • Ever look at the Sun without proper eye protection.
  • View the Sun through sunglasses of any type (single or multiple pairs), or filters made from photographic film, or any combination of photographic filters, crossed polarisers or gelatin filters, CDs, CD-ROMs, or smoked glass. None of these are safe.
  • Do...
  • View the Sun ONLY through special filters made specifically for safe solar viewing. Ensure they are DESIGNED to be fitted SECURELY to the kind of instrument you have.
  • Don’t...
  • Fit any filter to a telescope without FIRST checking it thoroughly for damage. If it is scuffed, scratched, has pinholes in it, or you have any other doubts about it at all, DON’T use it.
  • To repeat that again: if you are not certain that a filter is approved and safe, or you have any other doubts, DON’T USE IT.