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UAE astronomer confirms solar eclipse myth

Several residents were worried about the December 26 annular solar eclipse due to the unusual misconceptions surrounding the once-in-a-lifetime spectacle.

The CEO of Dubai Astronomy Group (DAG) Hasan Al Hariri said that the institution has gotten ‘several calls’ from troubled residents about eclipses and when it will appear so they can avoid it, told Khaleej Times.

“There are superstitions that pregnant women, children[,] and housewives should not carry sharp things, open doors or windows and stay indoors during an eclipse. In one culture, people believe that a dragon has eaten the sun. The problem is that most of the world looks at such an event as a bad thing,” Al Hariri said.

The eclipse resurfaced 172 years ago and on December 26, it will be seen again from Liwa in Abu Dhabi and will reappear after the year 2102 which is 83 years from now.

This astronomical spectacle will leave a ‘ring of fire’ in the sky, with the moon covering the sun by 92 percent.

Meanwhile, the Dubai Astronomy Group alongside UAE Space Agency (UAESA) will be holding an observation event in Abu Dhabi and plans to give free solar eclipse glasses to schools.

DAG obliges the public, including parents to let their children observe the once-in-a-lifetime upcoming eclipse safely.

“This is also another major chance to educate people about astronomy, while dispelling misconceptions that eclipses are dangerous,” Al Hariri said.

Staff Report

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