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MARCH 2020 AL SADEEM SKY-LENDAR: Period of galaxy hunting begins; Spring equinox signals change of season

March is one of the most exhilarating parts of the year when the night sky goes in “full bloom”—amateur astronomers and experienced stargazers enjoy a feast of Messier objects and a slew of planets around the Moon spicing up the United Arab Emirates’ cool spring nights. 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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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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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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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).

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