Eyes to the sky!

Stargazers, listen up. This past weekend we were treated to a Saturn sighing, but if you missed it, don’t worry, we have another celestial event coming up.

On Thursday, August 31, UAE stargazers will be treated to a blue moon.

super blue moon - Astronomy UAE

This is a rare celestial event – we’re talking once in 20 years kind of rare. The blue moon sighting which is expected to happen on the night of Thursday, August 31 is a moment when the Moon is at its closest point to the Earth.

A supermoon occurs approximately three to four times a year. According to NASA, ‘About 25 per cent of all full Moons are super Moons, but only 3 per cent of full Moons are blue Moons.’

The time between super blue Moons can vary considerably. It could go up to 20 years, but usually, they occur every 10 years on average. After this event, NASA claims the next super blue moon will occur in a pair, in January and March 2037.

The real question is: Will the moon really be blue?


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Sad to say, but, no.

Contrary to the name, this phenomenon is not named because the moon will turn blue, but cause two full moons are being sighted within a span of 29.5 days or within the same calendar month. A supermoon is when the moon is at its closest point to Earth. Residents in the UAE will get a chance to witness a combination of the two celestial spectacles, a super blue moon, which takes place once every 20 years.

Where can you watch the phenomena?

In Dubai

While it won’t be possible to catch the sightings anywhere in the city (thank you light pollution) the Dubai Astronomy Center is hosting observatory sessions at the Al Thuraya Astronomy Center in Al Mushrif Park on both days. The blue moon sighting event costs Dhs60 for adults and Dhs40 for kids under 13 and the Saturn sighting event costs Dhs50 for adults and Dhs30 for kids under 13.

Buy tickets here.

In Abu Dhabi

Although Al Sadeem Astronomy Centre is closed for August, Abu Dhabi residents don’t have to miss out. Just over a 90-minute drive away from Dubai, the Al Quaa Milky Way spot is the darkest place in the UAE and offers a stunning landscape with deep desert spaces and plenty of areas to watch the night sky without being interrupted by lights.

Images: Instagram/supplied