Many cultures have interpreted sudden disappearance of the sun as unnatural and hence leading to tragedies.
There are lots of myths and superstitions surrounding a solar eclipse – doomsday, evil omen bringing death, destruction and disasters, and many other legends and folklore. However, an Abu Dhabi-based space science expert has asked residents to relax and enjoy the rare annular solar eclipse on December 26.
“The last one seen in the region was in 1847, which was 172 years ago, and the next one will be visible in the region after 83 years,” NYUAD Center for Space Science research scientist Dimitra Atri said.
Traditionally, many cultures have interpreted sudden disappearance of the sun as unnatural and hence leading to tragedies. However, Atri stressed eclipses don’t have any impact on events on the earth. “Anything negative happening during the eclipse is merely a coincidence. Myths surrounding the eclipse arise from our lack of astronomy knowledge in the past.”
The only evident change, he said, is to expect a slight drop in temperature in regions of the world where the eclipse is visible.
He urged residents not to miss the rare phenomenon but also exercise caution.
“Please do not look directly at the sun under any circumstances. It is advisable to use eclipse glasses or a pinhole camera to look at an image of the sun.”
UAE residents can catch the rare solar eclipse at several free-for-all viewing events organised and sponsored by the UAE Space Agency, in partnership with a number of observatories. The viewing sessions will be at Liwa Hills Hotel, near Madinat Zayed in Al Dhafra; Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort; and Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi. Residents can catch the partial eclipse at Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre, Mushrif Park, in Dubai, too.
Where to catch the celestial treat
1-UAE Space Agency, Masdar City
2-Liwa Hills Hotel, Madinat Zayed
4-Madinat Zayed Park
5-Burj Khalifa (Ticket fee: Dh300)
6-Thuraya Astronomy Observatory (Ticket fee: Dh70)