How to watch Saturday's partial lunar eclipse in the UAE

Viewing party to be held for event at Dubai's Mushrif Park astronomy centre

A partial lunar eclipse illuminates the skies in Dresden, Germany in May 2022. AP
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UAE star gazers are being urged to have their smartphones at the ready to capture a partial lunar eclipse this weekend.

The celestial spectacle will loom large over the UAE's skies on Saturday, with astronomy experts calling on the public to make the most of the moment.

Dubai Astronomy Group are inviting enthusiasts to gather for a special viewing party for the highly-anticipated event, in which tips will be offered on how to record the phenomenon.

What is a partial lunar eclipse?

Such eclipses are relatively infrequent as they rely upon the positioning of the Moon, the Sun and the Earth.

A partial lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth moves between the Sun and the Moon, but they are not precisely aligned, Dubai Astronomy Group explains on its website.

October's full moon is known as the Hunter's Moon. It's name was inspired by the time of the year it rises, when people would traditionally be hunting animals for food, ahead of the arduous winter months.

“Only part of the Moon’s visible surface moves into the dark part of the Earth’s shadow,” the group said.

The shadow cast over the lunar surface gives the appearance of a bite being taken out of the Moon.

It differs from a total lunar eclipse, in which the Earth's shadow is cast across the entire Moon.

How to watch

Unlike a solar eclipse, it is safe to watch a lunar eclipse with the naked eye.

The group said the partial eclipse will begin at 10.22pm on Saturday and is expected to reach its peak at about 12.14am on Sunday.

The group's viewing event will run from 9am until 1am at Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre in Mushrif Park.

Astronomy experts will be on hand to provide insight on the event and answer questions.

Telescopes will be provided to observe the eclipse up close, while advice will be offered on how to get the best images and footage on camera phones.

Standard tickets are priced at Dh60, with a Dh40 charge for children under 13. The event is free for group members.

For more information, visit the Dubai Astronomy Group website here.

Lunar eclipse illuminates the skies – in pictures

Updated: October 27, 2023, 3:00 AM