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Mercury Transit, Leonid Meteor Shower, Hudayriat Island’s “Constellation Night”, and more this November 2019

There is a MAJOR astronomical event happening this November and it won’t happen again until 13 years later—the Mercury transit.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is fortunate to witness this rare treat right before sunset when the smallest planet of the Solar System skirts across the Sun as seen from here on our planet.

But since this transit will take place late in the afternoon, we’ll only be able to witness its initial stages. And that’s from 4:36 P.M. until 5:35 P.M.

If you wish to catch this rare phenomenon, we strongly advise you to use protective equipment like filtered solar telescopes or solar glasses during observation to avoid eye damage. read more

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Orionids, Conjunctions, and a Parade of Planets: Here’s what October 2019 has in store for you

The previous month has finally introduced the much-awaited autumn equinox, which means October jumpstarts the last hurrah for longer observation nights in 2019.

To begin with, this month, expect the Sun to rise between 6:14 A.M. and 6:28 A.M., and to set between 6:10 P.M.and even as early as 5:43 P.M. read more

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Astro News in Brief (September 19, 2019): NASA captures eclipse on Jupiter, water on exoplanet found, interstellar comet visits Solar System, Al Sadeem images two comets

Io eclipse on Jupiter witnessed by NASA’s Juno mission

Lady luck was on the side of NASA’s Juno spacecraft when Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io skirted between the Sun and the gas giant last September 11.

In its 22nd skim over the largest planet in the Solar System, the spacecraft was able to take various snaps of Io’s massive shadow cast over the Jupiter’s surface. read more

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September signals longer nights with autumnal equinox, offers favorite sky treats

The month of September ushers in the much-awaited change of season—from the searing summer days to a tad drop of temperature that will lead up to the mildly cold autumn season. read more

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What is Suhail, and how important is this star in the Arab World?

There is no other star in the sky much-anticipated in the Arab world than the Suhail (or the Canopus in the West) because according to the folklore it finally signals the gradual beginning of cooler days in the desert.

This year, Suhail appears in the southeastern portion of the sky, at the southern constellation of Carina at sunrise from August 24 onwards. It is not hard to spot since Suhail is the second brightest star in the night sky—next to Sirius from the constellation Canis Major. read more

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August to showcase Perseid meteor shower, “Black Moon” and more

One of the most-awaited meteor showers of the year is gracing the night sky this August—the Perseids.

This meteor shower is a crowd favorite because it offers its audience the brightest streaks of meteors or “shooting stars” in the sky.

Here in the Emirates, the Perseids’ peak will be on August 13, a Tuesday. This means this shower could bring an average of 50 meteors in the night sky per hour, under completely dark, moonless, and cloudless skies.

The meteor shower got its name from its “radiant,” or the point where the meteors seem to originate, which is the constellation of Perseus and this is albeit close by the famous Double Cluster. read more

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Partial lunar eclipse and other cosmic displays to grace the July night sky

We may not be able to see the solar eclipse on July 2 in this part of the world, but heads up, sky watchers—there’s a lunar eclipse coming our way this month. read more

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Longest day of the year, plus other celestial treats to watch out for this June

Now that we’re halfway through 2019, brace yourselves as June ushers in hotter days, early sunrises, and late sunsets.

The summer solstice on June 21—the longest day of the year—will signal the beginning of summer and longer days for the Earth’s Northern Hemisphere, where most of the countries in the world including the United Arab Emirates are situated.

According to the National Geographic, a solstice happens when the Earth is tilted towards the Sun that a big part of it “experiences the maximum intensity of the sun’s rays and has the most hours of sunlight.” Conversely, there will be longer nights for the folks in the other hemisphere (which is the Southern one, in this case). read more

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Al Sadeem Astronomy Conducts Astrophotography Workshop at Manarat Al Saadiyat

Budding astrophotographers and curious sky observers attended the recently concluded astrophotography workshop of the Al Sadeem Astronomy Observatory last May 18.

The small-group, intimate workshop was part of the series of events hosted by Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi called “Ramadan Arcade,” which ran from May 9 to 12 and May 15 to 18. read more

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Eta Aquariid meteor shower, Ramadan moon sighting, and more: What to expect in the night sky this May

To those who were let down by last April’s washed outLyrid meteor shower—fret not. There’s another major meteor shower coming our way this May.

And while it’s an annual night sky treat, this year’s Eta Aquariid meteor shower finds itself in a special circumstance—its peak coincides with the customary Moon sighting activity to determine the start of the holy month of Ramadan. read more