Grab your binoculars, protective eyewear, and as many battery packs as you can fit into your mini bag: for the first time in 172 years, residents in the UAE will be able to witness a ‘Ring of Fire’ eclipse. But what exactly does that mean, and makes this one so special? Here are a few things to know if you're looking to catch the upcoming eclipse.
1. What exactly is a ‘Ring of Fire’ eclipse
On December 26, the sun’s surface will be blocked by the moon, with just the edges protruding – kind of like (you guessed it) a “ring of fire”.
2. You need to be in the “path of totality” to see it
That’s where the moon’s shadow will be passing. The event will be fully visible only in the Gharbia or Liwa region of Abu Dhabi, whereas the rest of the country will experience varying degrees of partial eclipse. And although the sun is almost 400 times larger than the moon, for two and a half hours, they will appear almost the same size.
3. You shouldn't look straight at the eclipse with your eyes unprotected
Special filters need to be in place if you’re going to look through a telescope or binoculars. You can also buy special glasses to view the eclipse.
4. Seriously, though, protect your eyes
The brightness of the sun is powerful enough to burn holes in your eyes that could permanently damage your vision. "The light from the sun is very intense and concentrated into a very small area, and then that light is converted into heat and that heat cooks the retina," Joel Schuman, chair of ophthalmology at NYU Langone Health.
Photos: Instagram and Unsplash