You will see a rare celestial event in the night sky tonight

Look up…

For the astro fans here in UAE, take a few minutes before you start celebrating your weekend to look up to the evening sky.

A rare celestial event is taking place post-sunset called Da Vinci Glow. It’s also called ‘Earthshine’ and occurs when the sun’s shine is reflected off the earth and bounced off the moon back to us. This results in a faint illuminated ghostly version of a full moon, so if you spot a banana-shaped crescent moon, that’s the Da Vinci Glow.

It will occur post-sunset today on May 19, 2023 – so set your alarms for sunset which should be around 6.45pm.

What are the chances you’ll see it? We don’t want to get your hopes up, but according to NASA, Earthshine is brightest between April and June, but of course, it is dependent on the weather conditions.

The best news is that, unlike other celestial events, you don’t need a telescope or fancy binoculars to see it, so all you have to do is look up.

Why is it called da Vinci Glow?

It was named after the popular artist, Leonardo da Vinci – one of the greatest painters in the history of art (not the actor from Titanic) who debunked –well, almost debunked, the celestial event. Besides being an artist, da Vinci was also an architect, engineer, and theatrical producer but he also made huge contributions to astronomy. The artist had a great appreciation for the moon and even designed – though never built – the telescope.

His theory was eventually proven wrong, partly because he was working with an incomplete understanding of the solar system back in the 15th century. He predicted the source of the earth’s reflection was the ocean but later, it was proven by Apollo astronauts in the 16th century that it was in fact the clouds that caused the reflections.

If you spot the celestial event and are sharing it on your social media, tag @whatsondubai and you may be featured in our next week’s Picture of the Week.

Image: Getty Images