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SAASST Observes the Partial Solar Eclipse

26 / 10 / 2022

Sharjah Optical Observatory (SOO) at Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences and Technology (SAASST) of the University of Sharjah (UoS) organized a gathering to observe the Partial Solar Eclipse which was visible on Tuesday, 25th October, 2022 in the United Arab Emirates, in the presence of a large number of researchers, students and space sciences enthusiasts.This comes within SAASST’s keenness to educate students and 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, in addition to using the most advanced devices to deeply explore in this field and gain practical knowledge and skills.

The Partial Solar Eclipse was visible from Sharjah starting from 2:41 pm until 4:54 pm. The maximum occurred around 3:51 pm when the Moon was covering around 40% of the Sun’s surface. The whole duration of the eclipse was about 2 hrs and 13 min.During the astronomical event, free solar eclipse glasses were distributed among the participants who also used SAASST’s high quality telescopes equipped with special filters to protect observer’s eyes while staring at the sun, including a refractor telescope of 180 mm to observe the planets and the Sun, as well as a 4” (105 mm) Triplet ED Apochromatic Refractor, which mainly used effectively in H-alpha solar observation.

Prof. Mashhoor Al-Wardat, an Astrophysicist and a Professor at the Department of Applied Physics and Astronomy, UoS, stressed that this event reflects the academy’s role in organizing various scientific activities and events to promote scientific knowledge and astronomical awareness amongst students, enthusiasts and the general public. Meanwhile, Prof. Al-Wardat explained that the solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s shadow falls on the earth and covers the Sun’s disk, stating that the reason is that the moon and the Sun have the same angular diameter when observed from the earth, and if the moon covers the entire disk of the Sun, we will see what is called a total eclipse, while is called a partial eclipse (like the one which we have this time) if the moon covers part of the Sun.For his part, Mr. Mohamed Fadil Talafha, Astronomical Observer at Sharjah Optical Observatory, pointed out that this event is a great opportunity for individual’s passionate about astronomy and space to participate in observing the eclipse and exploring the latest devices at SAASST, stating that the observations show that the size of the moon’s disk equals the size of the Sun’s disk, although the Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun, and this is because the Moon is much closer to the Earth (384,400 km from the Earth) than the Sun which is about 150 million km away.

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