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FEBRUARY 2020 AL SADEEM SKY-LENDAR: A Supermoon and more planet-Moon pairings

The Moon and some prominent planets will rule our February night sky this year, and to keep up with the love season, these celestial objects will be often seen in “pairs”!

Keep your eyes peeled for planets such as Venus and Uranus, which will be immediately visible at the western section of the sky right after sunset until 9 in the evening. Other bright planets Mars and Jupiter can be observed before dawn at 4 AM and 5 AM, respectively, until sunrise. Planets that will be no-shows for February are Mercury, Saturn, and Neptune.

The “love month” will also be peppered with prominent winter constellations and deep-sky objects like the Great Orion Nebula, the Flame and Horsehead nebulas, Andromeda Galaxy, and the brilliant open star cluster Pleiades known as the “Seven Sisters.” read more

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AL SADEEM SKYLENDAR FOR JANUARY 2020: Quadrantids, asteroids, and more!

It’s the first day of the new decade! What better way to begin the New Year than observing the night sky?

January may not be that “busy,” but it sure has some exciting treats to look forward to—meteor shower displays, some asteroids that are well placed for observation, and a quick showcasing of some of your favorite planets in the evening.

So don’t forget to bundle up when you go out for your quick dose of stargazing because January in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the coldest month of the winter season! read more

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Al Sadeem Astronomy acquires official observatory codes from international astronomical organizations

Al Sadeem Astronomy Observatory, the first private observatory in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), recently obtained its official observatory codes from two well-known astronomical societies worldwide. read more

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December 2019 Sky Events: Annular solar eclipse, second round of Constellation Night, meteor showers and more!

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is set to witness another rare celestial event on December 26—the Annular Solar Eclipse of 2019.

An annular solar eclipse happens when the Moon covers the Sun’s center, but only enough to leave the Sun’s outer edges visible, creating a kind of “ring of fire” or annulus around the Earth’s natural satellite.

The eclipse will begin at 7 A.M. until 9 A.M. here in the UAE, with the annularity or “the ring,” to be seen at the southernmost parts of the UAE, such as in Liwa, Mezaira, and Hameem, as well as in the western areas, too, like Ruwais in Abu Dhabi. The rest of the emirates will only be able to see 60 percent of the eclipse. read more

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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