Huge visitor turnout expected for solar eclipse

Muscat - 

Oman is expecting a huge rush of skygazers as a result of the annular solar eclipse that the country will witness on December 26.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. An annular solar eclipse happens when the Moon covers the Sun’s centre, leaving the Sun’s visible outer edges to form a ‘ring of fire’ or annulus around the Moon. 

Speaking to Muscat Daily, Abdulwahab al Busaidi, head of observatory, Oman Astronomical Society, said, “Oman will witness an annular solar eclipse on December 26. We are expecting a huge number of tourists to come to Oman. The last time it was best visible in 2017 in the US.

Around 10mn people from around the world visited to observe the eclipse. This time it will be visible in Oman among other countries.” 

Annular eclipses can last over three hours in locations where annularity is visible. From start to finish, the total duration of annular eclipses can be over six hours but not in a single location. The annularity, when only a ring of fire is visible in the sky, can range from less than a second to over 12 minutes.He said that the annular solar eclipse is happening in Oman after many years. “Last time it was witnessed in the 70s. Earlier travel was not easy so if an eclipse was visible best from a particular area you were lucky to see it. Now travelling is easy and we are expecting a lot of tourists for this purpose. We have all the requirements in place to accommodate as many people who want to come for the same,” he said. 

In Oman, it will be best visible in Masirah Island, Adam, Qarn al Alam, Fahud, Ibri and Nizwa.

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