People are getting pretty excited about Friday’s total lunar eclipse, and fortuitously we are very well located indeed to see the Moon’s in all its glory as it slips into the umbra. From 11.30pm onwards, the Earth will sit directly between the Sun and the Moon, blocking the rays of the Sun from the lunar orb.
While you can take in the excitement from the comfort of your apartment balcony, a parking lot or even in your car, you might also want to gather with your fellow UAE residents for this rare celestial event. Although estimates vary, optimum viewing time is estimated to be between 12.20am and 1.15am on Saturday morning.
- The developer Nakheel is hosting an event at Jumeirah Village Circle’s 2nd December Park (District 14). It invites fans of astronomy to camp out on beanbags and enjoy free refreshments, movie screenings, bouncy castles and giveaways. The event is open to the public and runs from 9.30pm to 1.30am.
- The JW Marriott Marquis offers some pretty spectacular views, and on Friday, from 11.30pm onwards, it will also be offering 103 free beverages to customers at Weslodge Saloon and Hotel Cartagena. (The number 103 is the total expected length of the eclipse, in minutes.)
- The UAE Space Agency is sponsoring a number of viewings spots (with telescopes), including one at Abu Dhabi’s International Astronomical Centre on Corniche Road, opposite the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company building. Gather from 8pm onwards. There will be a lecture on astronomy.
- The Space Agency is also planning events at the Emirates Mobile Observatory and the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Science.
- The Dubai Astronomy Group is holding an event at Al Thuraya Astronomy Center in Dubai’s Mushrif Park.
- If you simply can’t stay up that late, or want to get those eclipse vibes going early, Life ‘n One Centre in Dubai has six lunar-themed classes throughout Friday. It all starts at 5am with a donation-based Kundalini Yoga sadhana and wraps up with another donation-based class, the 6pm Eka Mai chant followed by two and a half hours of gonging.