The UAE will witness a rare celestial phenomenon – a partial solar eclipse – on Sunday (June 21). It will begin at 8:14am local time and be over at 11:12 am.

Dubai Astronomy Group CEO Hasan Al Hariri has advised the public to ensure that they take safety precautions while viewing this celestial event. About 86 per cent of the sun will be covered, he said. This level of coverage will not occur in the next 25 years. Hasan advised people to use high-quality solar eclipse glasses while observing the solar eclipse.

Viewing the eclipse without proper sun protection glasses will lead to severe damage to the eyes, he warns. The public should avoid using a welder’s mask, candle wax smeared on glass or car tinting film to view the eclipse. It should also not be viewed reflected in water or by any other unscientific method.

Hasan suggested that one way of observing the solar eclipse without glasses is by using a telescope to project the image of the moon passing in front of the sun on a white sheet. This is ideal for group observation. However, only quality telescopes should be used for this purpose and one should not look into its eye-piece.

Viewing the eclipse without proper sun protection glasses will lead to severe damage to the eyes
Supplied

A Dubai Astronomy Group representative has said that ISO-certified solar eclipse glasses are available at Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre. They can be purchased for Dh20 a piece. The glasses are also available on amazon.ae.

Dubai Astronomy Group is also organising a public event with limited seats with all the precautions and social distancing. 

Don’ts

• Don’t ever look at the sun without proper eye protection.

• Don’t view the sun through sunglasses of any type (single or multiple pairs), or filters made from photographic film or any combination of photographic filters, crossed polarizers or gelatin filters, CDs, CD-ROMs, X-Ray films or Smoked glass. They are not safe.

• Don’t fit any filter to a telescope without first checking it thoroughly for damage. If it is scuffed, scratched, has pinholes in it, or you have any other doubt about it, do not use it.

• Don’t use binoculars or any viewing device to observe the eclipse.

Dos

• Do view the solar eclipse only through solar eclipse glasses made specifically for safe solar viewing.

• Use quality filters on telescopes.

• Use only metallic body telescopes and eye pieces to observe the eclipse. Don’t use the plastic ones.