NAT 191121 annular solar eclipse-1574341779764
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Dubai: The UAE will experience its first annular solar eclipse - when the moon passes in front of the sun - in 172 years on December 26, Dubai Astronomy Group has announced.

Known as a ‘Ring of Fire’ because only the edges of the sun will protrude around the moon; the event, will be fully visible only in the Gharbia or Liwa region of Abu Dhabi, whereas the rest of the country will experience varying degrees of a partial eclipse.

The phenomena, which last occurred in the UAE in 1847, will stretch from Saudi Arabia in the north down to Indonesia in the southeast and back up across Malaysia and the Philippines.

Lasting almost two and a half hours in its entirety, the actual eclipse when the moon is fully in front of the sun covering a maximum 91.93 per cent of its face, will only last two minutes 47 seconds from 7.35am to 7.38am, for those watching in Liwa.

Even those watching from outside the full eclipse coverage area will still witness an 87.18 per cent partial eclipse.

“It will be a spectacular sight,” said Hassan Al Hariri, CEO of Dubai Astronomy Group. “We will be running a number of events both in Dubai and Liwa in the build-up and during the eclipse in order to educate the public.

“What we can’t stress enough however is that observers must not look at the sun without the correct eye protection, which we can provide.

“Any other type of eyewear will not suffice, the ones we use have 99.99 per cent protection and we will be able to help you view and picture the phenomena safely.”

Based in Mushrif Park, Dubai Astronomy Club has around 4,000 members and is open to everyone. Al Hariri added that following Hazzaa Al Mansouri’s mission to the International Space Station in September they had noticed a growing interest in space and astronomy and were excited to teach people more about the universe.

“We’re really lucky to be getting an annular eclipse in the UAE, but we want people to stay safe and have fun while viewing it,” Al Hariri.

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Timings of the Annular Eclipse:

Liwa, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Annular solar eclipse visible (91.93% coverage of Sun)

Duration: 2 hours, 21 minutes, 32 seconds

Duration of annularity: 2 minutes, 47 seconds

Partial begins: Sun below horizon

Sunrise: Dec 26 at 7:01:39am

Full begins: Dec 26 at 7:35:21am

Maximum: Dec 26 at 7:36:43am

Full ends: Dec 26 at 7:38:08am

Partial ends: Dec 26 at 8:52:34am

Times shown in local time (GST)