Solar eclipse: 'Ring of fire' enthrals sky-gazers in UAE

Solar eclipse: 'Ring of fire' enthrals sky-gazers in UAE
Solar eclipse: 'Ring of fire' enthrals sky-gazers in UAE

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - For some, this was also an opportunity to debunk the myths surrounding solar eclipse.

Thousands of residents gathered early morning in various parts of the country to witness the rare annular solar eclipse - the last one of the decade. And sky gazers were in for a visual treat as past 7.30 am they could witness the 'ring of fire'.

People, especially youngsters, were excited after watching the annular solar phenomenon - visible in the UAE for the first time since 1847.

"This is awesome. I haven't ever seen anything like this. This is once in a lifetime opportunity and I didn't want to miss this," Fatima Al Jaberi, a student of Emirates National School, said at Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi.

Sara Al Muhairi is interested in astronomy and felt such experiences form her learning curve. "I like the study of celestial objects. I want to major in astronomy. I follow the Instagram account on Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre and the UAE Space Agency for latest updates in this field. I came to know about this event a month ago and have been waiting for this moment."

Farah Qasim, a teenager, said such events brought together a diverse group of people. "It is great that the Abu Dhabi Government has given us a chance to see this phenomenon bringing together all community members."

'Eclipse myths debunked'

The astronomical event at the Marina Mall was organised by the UAE Space Agency in collaboration with Emirates Mobile Observatory. And hundreds of residents gathered outside the mall from 6am onwards to see the spectacle through specialised solar telescopes. Public was also provided with free-of-cost sunglasses to watch the eclipse.

For some, this was also an opportunity to debunk the myths surrounding solar eclipse.

Namrata Harish and her bother Hardik had heard 'stories' about solar eclipse and wanted to convince themselves that it was just a rare visual spectacle.

"There are lots of myths surrounding solar eclipse. Like you are not supposed to eat, keep cooked food in the house, pray while seeing the eclipse to ward off negative energy and more. There are lots of things we have heard but we feel this is nothing but a beautiful celestial event," Namrata said.

"I had never seen an eclipse. This was fascinating and scary at the same time. The sight is fascinating but I have also heard stories about solar eclipse. After watching this I am no longer scared," Hardik said.

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Ashwani Kumar

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