Dubai: So are we approaching the end of the world? Hasan Al Hariri, CEO of the Dubai Astronomy Group, has outright rubbished as hoax the doomsday theories about Mayan calendar and misfortunes predicted along with the upcoming solar eclipse on June 21.
Allaying all fears surrounding such predictions, he said, “Science is elegant and beautiful, but it requires effort to understand. This is a golden opportunity to educate people."
He said to think that the world will end on June 21 is highly unscientific and illogical. "Any person with a scientific temperament, not necessarily a scientist, cannot support these type of messages," he noted
He said the UAE is going to witness a rare celestial phenomena on the morning of June 21: a partial solar eclipse with huge coverage of the disk of the sun by the moon. In the sky of the UAE, the moon is going to cover 86.31 per cent of the sun's disk, he added.
In other words, only the partial solar eclipse with 86.31 per cent coverage will be visible in the UAE. It will begin at 08:14:47 am local time when the moon will begin moving in front of the sun. The eclipse will be over at 11:12:04 am.
Al Hariri advises the public to observe this celestial event by taking all necessary precautions. He said that this is an opportunity for us to understand the dynamics of space and movement of objects surrounding the earth. This level of coverage of the solar disk is not going to happen in the next 25 years, he added.
How to view the eclipse
Al Hariri has appealed to the public to use high quality solar eclipse glasses to obeserve the celestial event.
He warned that the sun will be very bright and emit intensive light. “This is too much for our eyes. So if we look at it without protection, our eyesight will be damaged,” he said.
He said the eclipse could not be viewed by using a welder’s mask, candle wax smeared on glass, car tinting film or through reflection in water or any other unscientific method. “Many incidents occurred after the last solar eclipse in December 2019, where people didn’t care about their protection. In India, Rajasthan, several school children damaged their retinas by observing the solar eclipse without proper protection. So, please be much more careful because this time, the eclipse will start at 8.14 am, when most of the public will already be outside or maybe on the way to the office,” he said.
Al Hariri added that another method to observe the solar eclipse without glasses is to project the image of the moon passing in front of the sun through a telescope on a white sheet. This is ideal for group observation. "But all parts of the telescope should be metallic, particularly the eye-piece, and don’t look into the eye-piece as that will surely blind you," he said.
Special public event, live telecast
Dubai Astronomy Group is organising a public event with limited seats with all precautions, including social distancing. It will also telecast the live view of the solar eclipse from Dubai and many other cities in the world.
ISO-certified solar eclipse glasses are available at Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre and on amazon.ae. They come at a cost of Dh20.