Where to watch the solar eclipse in UAE

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The annular eclipse phase will start when the moon rises, as it completes its total transit in front of the sun.- Alamy Image

The annular solar phenomenon will be visible from the UAE for the first time since 1847.

Catch the rare solar eclipse at several free-for-all viewing events organised and sponsored by the UAE Space Agency, in partnership with a number of observatories.

The annular solar phenomenon will be visible from the UAE for the first time since 1847, and set to take place on December 26 at 7am.

The UAE Space Agency, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi-based International Astronomical Centre, has organised an event at Liwa Hills Hotel, near Madinat Zayed in Al Dhafra. It has also teamed up with Thuraya Astronomical Observatory for a viewing session at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, coupled with another one organised with Emirates Mobile Observatory at Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi.

All three events are open to the public and free of charge.

According to the astronomical calculations, the eclipsed sun will rise on Thursday morning and it will be visible in some regions of the country for roughly three minutes.

The annular eclipse phase will start when the moon rises, as it completes its total transit in front of the sun, the space agency explained.

"The moon will appear to be smaller than usual, as it is at its farthest point in its orbit from Earth. Thus, the edges of the sun will shape a ring of light around the shadow of the moon that will cover most of the sun. After that, the moon will start moving away from the sun, and the eclipse will turn into a partial one. The moon shall continue to move away from the sun until the moon's shadow is completely cleared from Earth after about three hours," it added.

The UAE Space Agency reminded residents to wear proper eye protection when looking at the sun during the eclipse.

"Looking directly at solar eclipses can cause severe damage to the eyes," the agency stressed.

Viewing it through regular sunglasses, unfiltered camera lens, telescope, binoculars or any other optical device could also be dangerous.

Solar filters or solar eclipse glasses must scratch-free, not older than three years, and must have the name and address of the manufacturer.

Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi, director-general of the UAE Space Agency, said: "The annular solar eclipse will be closely monitored by various space and astronomy-related entities across the UAE. Sponsoring these events comes in line with the agency's efforts to raise awareness about the national space sector, along with other space and astronomical activities that the UAE is hosting."

Where to view the eclipse in Abu Dhabi

>Liwa Hills Hotel (near Madinat Zayed in Al Dhafra)

>Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort

>Marina Mall

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