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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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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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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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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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ASTRO LOG: APRIL 2019 SKY EVENTS TO LOOK FORWARD TO

The change of seasons ushered in days of gloomy weather; let’s hope this won’t drag on until April!

There’s a meteor shower (Lyrid meteor shower) to watch out for in the middle of the month, but because of the presence of the Moon at the night sky, spotting the Lyrids will be pretty tough for avid sky watchers and observers.

Planets such as Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will be still be spotted near the Moon in the coming days, and many brilliant prominent winter constellations and deep-sky objects will be seen during early evening hours.

Sky treats such as the nebulae in Orion constellation (Great Orion, Flame, and Horsehead), and galaxies like the ones in and the Leo Triplet and Sunflower Galaxy still await amateur astronomers and astrophotographers. read more

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ASTRO LOG: YOUR MARCH 2019 SKY AT A GLANCE

Avid sky-watchers and dedicated astronomy enthusiasts in the United Arab Emirates can bid goodbye to biting cold nights as March ushers in the beginning of spring.

With temperatures beginning to warm, staying outdoors at night will definitely be more enjoyable,especially during this month when the night sky has so much in store for its patrons.

Mark the 21st of March on your calendars, as the last of the Supermoon trifecta for this year will grace the night sky. read more

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ASTRO LOG: Your February Sky Treats

February opens with the gradual exit of the Moon from the night sky, which means observers will start the second month with a trove of prominent bright winter constellations such as Orion, Taurus, Auriga and Gemini and spring constellations like Ursa Major, Leo and Virgo after midnight.

Several deep-sky objects such as the Orion Nebula, Flame and Horsehead Nebula, Crab Nebula, Messier 53 and Pinwheel Galaxy can also be observed under relatively clear, moonless and dark skies.

Planets Mars and Uranus are going to be a regular sight right after sunset, while the bright planets Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn will be gracing the night sky in the early morning hours until sunrise.

Meanwhile, there will be barely or no sighting at all of planets Mercury and Neptune because of their nearness to the Sun as seen in the sky.

Days are still long, with late sunrises from 6:46 to 7:04 in the morning and early sunsets from 6:04 P.M. to 6:24 in the evening.

For more serious sky watching,Al Sadeem Astronomy has prepared below a calendar for February’s sky events.All dates and times were given in UAE Local Time (UTC+4).

read more

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Comet 46P/Wirtanen Graces the December Night Sky

Before 2018 comes to a close, the last comet of the year will make its nearest approach to Earth.

Comet 46P/Wirtanen, one of the three comets discovered in 1948 by American astronomer Carl Wirtanen, will be as bright as a third (3rd) or fourth (4th) magnitude star—which means it will be visible enough to be seen with the naked eye, especially in completely dark skies. read more