Solar eclipse on March 20: How to watch it in UAE

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People must avoid the temptation of using instruments for direct viewing.

On March 20, parts of the Earth will witness a total solar eclipse, the first in nearly two years.

As the moon aligns itself with the sun and Earth, its shadow drawing across the surface will result in a solar eclipse.

However, skywatchers in the UAE will be disappointed, as the dark shadow of the moon will carve a path that will limit itself in the Northern Hemisphere, mainly in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

The Dubai Astronomy Group confirmed the trajectory, with the shadow of the moon passing over parts of Greenland and the United Kingdom, with a total eclipse visible near the Danish-owned Faroe Islands, along with the Norwegian Island group of Svalbard.

Meanwhile, parts of Europe and England will witness up to 97 per cent of the sun obscured by the shadow of the moon, while heading further south towards Asia and North Africa, will only witness around 40 per cent of the eclipse.

The eclipse itself is expected to last a little more than two hours.

Residents of the UAE who want to witness this celestial event can watch the solar eclipse online with the Slooh Community Observatory, which will broadcast live views on its website at 8.30GMT or 12.30pm UAE time.

Slooh will also stream the event via webcast on

Nasa has issued a safety guideline for those are watching the solar eclipse live, reiterating that people should not observe the event with the naked eye, which could result in permanent eye damage.

The safest and most inexpensive of these methods is by projection, in which a pinhole or small opening is used to cast the image of the sun on a screen placed a half-meter or more beyond the opening.

Projected images of the sun may even be seen on the ground in the small openings created by interlacing fingers, or in the dappled sunlight beneath a leafy tree.

Binoculars can also be used to project a magnified image of the sun on a white card, but you must avoid the temptation of using these instruments for direct viewing.

Experts have also warned people from taking solar eclipse selfies.

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