Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 14 December 2019

UAE to enjoy rare solar eclipse on Boxing Day

The moon will pass in front of the sun’s centre, leaving its visible outer edges to form a bright circle - or ring of fire

UAE residents are set to enjoy a stunning solar eclipse next month. Getty Images
UAE residents are set to enjoy a stunning solar eclipse next month. Getty Images

UAE residents are set to enjoy a stunning "ring of fire" eclipse next month, 172 years after the last similar event was sighted in the Emirates.

Referred to as an annular solar eclipse, the moon will pass in front of the sun’s centre, leaving its visible outer edges to form a bright circle - or ring of fire - around the planetary satellite.

In total, it will cover 91 per cent of the sun’s surface.

The rare sighting, which was last recorded in the UAE in 1847, occurs when the moon is furthest from Earth.

“The disc of the moon will move in front of the sun but because of the moon’s distance from Earth, it will only partially cover it, causing a ring-type visual,” said Hasan Al Harari from Dubai Astronomy Group.

“Because of its rarity, this is quite a spectacular event. It does not happen as often as a total eclipse.”

Residents in the UAE will be able to witness the unique spectacle on December 26. Only stargazers in the Liwa area of Abu Dhabi will see the total annular phase, where the bright light will form a perfect ring around the moon. The rest of the country will observe only a partial phase.

The full eclipse, which will start at 7.25am, will last just “two to three minutes”. However, the total solar spectacle will last two hours and 21 minutes in total.

“While we want residents to enjoy the unique solar eclipse, we urge them not to view it directly as it is harmful to the naked eye,” Mr Al Harari said.

Annular Solar Eclipse 2019

Duration: 2 hours, 21 minutes, 32 seconds

Duration of annulus (ring of fire): 2 minutes, 47 seconds

Maximum eclipse: 7:36:43am

Times are shown in local time (GST)

Updated: November 21, 2019 03:18 PM

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