22 june 2020
The Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences, and Technology (SAASST) at the University of Sharjah, in cooperation with the UAE Space Agency, organized a virtual observation of the Partial Solar Eclipse on Sunday, June 21st, 2020. A large number of students, researchers, and space sciences enthusiasts witnessed the observation using remote video communication technologies. This comes as part of SAASST's keenness on implementing the precautionary and preventive measures outlined by the relevant authorities in the UAE regarding COVID-19, and to ensure the safety of the community and continuity of delivering scientific knowledge and spreading awareness using remote communication methods.
SAASST aims to educate the general community about the most important astronomical phenomena and developments in the field of space science and astronomy, as well as the UAE space sector. This in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah and President of the University of Sharjah, who founded the Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences, and Technology as a national development project and research center that seeks to serve and educate society in all areas of space science and to be a world leader in space sciences and technology research while establishing the United Arab Emirates as a scientific center in the Arab Gulf region and the world.
We who live on planet Earth can see a phenomenon that is not visible from most planets. It happens that the Sun is 400 times larger than the Moon and, on the average, 390 times farther away, so the Sun and Moon have nearly equal angular diameters 0.5 degrees. Thus, the Moon is just the right size to cover the bright disk of the Sun and cause a solar eclipse. If the Moon covers the entire disk of the Sun, we see a total eclipse. If it covers only part of the Sun, we see a partial eclipse.
The Partial Solar Eclipse was visible from Sharjah starting from 08:15 am until 11:12 am on June 21. The maximum occured around 09:36 am when the Moon was covering more than 86% of the Sun's surface. The whole duration of the partial solar eclipse in Sharjah was about 2 hrs 57 mn. The observation was streamed live on SAASST's Instagram account (@SAASST.Sharjah).
In its endeavor to achieve His Highness's vision of paying attention to scientific research that serves the development of society, SAASST is one of the most comprehensive academies in the country and the region covering the fields of education and scientific research in space sciences, astronomy and technology while organizing informative workshops, lectures, seminars and conferences that benefit professionals and amateurs in this field alike. SAASST also adapts to circumstances such as COVID-19 and ensures the continuity of offering services and the scientific material to the community utilizing available means and technologies.