Here is when you can view the partial lunar eclipse on Tuesday night
16 July 2019| Last updated on 17 July 2019
UAE stargazers can see the partial eclipse from 10:43 PM July 16
We're in luck, UAE residents can enjoy a spectacular view of a partial lunar eclipse on Tuesday, July 16. Astronomers predicted that the skies will be clear across most of the emirates, granting a clear sight of when the Earth's shadow will pass over 60% of the moon's body, making its surface look red.
The eclipse event is expected to kickstart at around 10:43 PM tonight and will last for 5 hours. Astronomers suggest that the ideal time to watch the eclipse is during its peak at 1:30 AM on Wednesday, July 17.
Viewers won't have to worry about damaging their eyesight because lunar (moon) eclipses are safer to watch, whereas a solar (sun) eclipse could harm vision because they'll be looking directly at the sun.
It's also the last chance we may have to see a visible lunar eclipse for a while. Miss this and your next opportunity will be on May 26, 2021!
Thabet Al Qaissieh, the Emirati astronomer who manages Al Sadeem Observatory Abu Dhabi, said that viewers may have the chance to witness Jupiter and Saturn during the lunar eclipse. So keep an eye out for those two!
Where to watch the partial lunar eclipse in the UAE
We're in luck because the following UAE observatories are opening its doors to welcome residents and visitors to watch this stunning sight.
- Dubai Astronomy Group
Location: Mushrif Park, Dubai
- The Sharjah Centre for Astronomy and Space Sciences
Location: Near Al Jurainah 4, Sharjah
- Al Sadeem Astronomy Observatory
Location: Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi
They will host a public session where guests are invited to use their professional telescopes between 10 PM - 3 AM. Visitors can bring food, water, mats, and other items necessary.
Why does the moon look red during a lunar eclipse?
The moon can have a variety of red, orange, and gold shades during a lunar eclipse, based on the Earth's atmosphere at the time. The moon itself doesn't produce light but instead reflects sunlight.
Lunar eclipses cuts off the light supply reflecting on the moon due to the Earth passing between the sun and moon. However, instead of going dark the moon becomes a red shade.
Astronomer Al Qaissieh said that the light of the sun is scattered through the planet's atmosphere, and the only light that passes through to reflect on the moon's surface are the ones with the red hue.