Spotlight on scientific tourism during annular solar eclipse

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The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has partnered with Oman Astronomical Society (OAS) to bring a unique scientific tourism experience to local and international tourists this year.

The 2019 annular eclipse phenomenon – one of the rarest ones – is set to occur in the sultanate on December 26.

Oman Astronomical Society has been working with various institutions including the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Public Authority for Radio and Television, and Photographic Society of Oman, among other government and private institutions, to record the phenomena under the Annular Eclipse 2019 project.

Anwar al Balushi, director of Tourism Events at the Ministry of Tourism, said, “We are delighted to cooperate with OAS and other key organisations in the preparation of the programme for the annular eclipse phenomenon.”

Ali al Shaibani, vice chairman of OAS and the project supervisor, said, “The annular eclipse phenomenon is one of the rarest natural phenomena that deserves to be watched. Oman’s share of the annular eclipse will be abundant as the sun will look like a ring in the governorates of Dhahirah, Dakhliyah, Al Wusta, and South Sharqiyah along with the possibility of viewing partial eclipse in the rest of the sultanate’s central and southeastern region. The solar eclipse will continue for about 2 hours and 29 minutes in Oman while the annular eclipse will last for about three minutes in the areas located along the path of the annular eclipse.”

In coordination with the Ministry of Education, there will also be an educational programme to promote astronomy among students. An exhibition of astronomical photography 2020 will be held in partnership with the Photographic Society of Oman to encourage photographers to take photographs during the solar eclipse phenomenon and show the beauty of Oman, as well as encourage research and scientific studies of solar eclipse to colleges and universities.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, OAS will organise observation activities in various governorates in addition to the annular eclipse camp to be setup in Ras al Ruwais which will be equipped with many astronomical telescopes equipped with solar filters. a

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