In a rare phenomenon.. the disappearance of a star from the UAE sky for 8 seconds

The Astronomical Seal Observatory of the International Astronomy Center in the Emirates was able, at dawn on Saturday, to monitor and photograph a rare astronomical phenomenon that was seen from several regions in the country.

The phenomenon was represented by the disappearance of a star for 8 seconds, due to the passage of an asteroid named “Thuli 279” in front of a Taurus star called “Heeb 20917”, according to the Emirates News Agency.

The phenomenon can only be monitored from areas located within a narrow strip, the width of which does not exceed 130 kilometers

It crosses the southern half of the Emirates and some neighboring countries.

It happened that the narrow strip passed over the Al-Khatim Astronomical Observatory in the Al-Khatem area in Emirate Abu Dhabiaccording to the International Astronomy Center.

Muhammad Shawkat Odeh, director of the center, stated that the diameter of the asteroid “Thuli” was only 126 km.

It was located at the time of occultation at a distance of 474 million km from Earth, while the star is 37 light years away from us.

And the prior astronomical calculations of the observatory website showed that the asteroid will pass in front of the star

The occultation begins on December 25, at 03:00 am, 28 minutes UAE time.

The occultation lasts for only 8 seconds, and during this period the star disappears from view due to a passage asteroid The faint in front of him, according to Odeh.

Odeh explained that this observation is a difficult astronomical observation for several reasons, including the relative dimness of the luminosity of the star and the asteroid.

He pointed out that the occultation occurred after the passage of a mass of clouds that covered the area for several hours before the occultation.

The sky remained clear for a short time at the time of occultation, and less than an hour after occultation a large cloud cover entered.

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