Annular eclipse: 300 to take part in Ras al Ruwais camp

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Over 300 people from 12 countries are gathering at the Ras al Ruwais camp in Jalaan Bani Bu Ali, South Sharqiyah, from Wednesday to view the rare phenomenon of annular solar eclipse. It will start at 6.38am, peak at 7.40am and end at 9am on Thursday, December 26.

Oman Astronomical Society (OAS), in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, and a group of government and private institutions, is organising the camp in Ras al Ruwais on December 25 and 26.

Ali al Shaibani, vice chairman of OAS said, “There are arrangements at 22 locations in various governorates to allow enthusiasts to watch the annular solar eclipse in a safe manner. The camp programme will run on Wednesday and Thursday. There will be scientific lectures and events on astronomy. The participants are from Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Switzerland, Croatia, Britain and Oman.”

Shaibani said that the annular solar eclipse is one of the rarest natural phenomena.

“The full annular solar eclipse will resemble the ‘Ring of Fire’ in Dhahirah, Dakhliyah, Al Wusta and South Sharqiyah, along with partial eclipse in the sultanate’s central and southeastern region.”

MoH statement

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has advised enthusiasts not to watch the eclipse with naked eyes. It has said the effect of sun rays on eyes during an eclipse is same as during normal times. The ministry has said that the eclipse being a popular social event, many people are keen to watch it. It is necessary to use safe solar eclipse glasses and other equipment to watch it. Some of them are:

1. Eclipse glasses

2. Special telescopes for watching the eclipse

3. Welding helmet

MoH said that daily-use sunglasses, regular telescopes and X-ray films should not be used to watch the eclipse.

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