UAE supermoon: orange Sturgeon Moon and meteor showers to light up skies this week

Stargazers set for stellar show on Thursday and Friday

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UAE stargazers are in for a stellar show this week with the final supermoon of the year and meteor showers set to light up the skies.

The orange-tinged Sturgeon Moon is set to dazzle onlookers on Thursday and Friday evening.

The Perseids meteor showers will take place at the same time, but is expected to be partly impeded by the full moon phase.

If skies were clear, stargazers would have witnessed 80 to 100 meteors an hour shooting across the skies.

The shower is caused by comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862.

It leaves a long trail of dust and debris during its 133-year orbit around the Sun.

When Earth passes through the comet’s debris each year, the meteor shower is created. The debris collides with the atmosphere and disintegrates, causing the colourful show.

Dubai Astronomy Group said the cosmic event still promises to be a treat for observers.

"The Perseids meteor shower is expected to peak between August 11 and 12. However, the bright moonlight will complicate the meteor shower's peak.

"Nevertheless, it will be an incredible show with a full bright supermoon."

The supermoon phenomenon occurs when the Moon is at its closest point to Earth in its orbit and appears larger than normal. The average distance between the Moon and Earth is 384,472 kilometres.

Dubai Astronomy Group said this week's supermoon would not occur until Friday, in official terms, but the Moon would appear much the same on Thursday night.

How to watch cosmic spectacle

Dubai Astronomy Group will be hosting a viewing event on Friday at the UAE's highest peak, Jebel Jais, from 9pm until 2am on Saturday.

It will include telescope observation of the Moon, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter and viewing of the meteors with the naked eye.

There will also be talks on the supermoon and showers, along with question and answer sessions.

Tickets are priced at Dh200 ($54.45) for general admission, Dh150 for children under 13 and Dh100 to members.

For more information, visit the group's website

Updated: August 10, 2022, 6:40 AM