Today many Arab states will be able to view one of the universe’s natural phenomenons – a solar eclipse.

Arab states including Yemen, southwestern parts of Saudi Arabia, and all the Arab states in Africa will be able to see the annular eclipse, which occurs when the sun is obscured by the moon.

While the best views will be in the above countries – with experts saying the best place to witness it is in Tanzania – star gazers and astronomy buffs in the UAE can still get their fix by keeping track of the eclipse through NASA’s interactive Google map, a live webcast on or keep updated on

Don’t expect a black out though as it won’t be a “total” eclipse, instead it’s an annular eclipse, also known as Ring of Fire, as the moon leaves a ring around the sun instead of a full blackout effect.

According to Popular Science: “The moon starts to creep across the sun at 2.45am ET [10.45am UAE time], with the full eclipse at 5am and partial views until 8am.”

“We’re in for one heck of a ride as we follow the moon’s shadow as it races across the surface of the Earth at over 2,000 mph,” said Slooh astronomer Paul Cox.

solar eclipse with mosque dome

Tonight most of the Islamic countries will looking to the skies to detect the Eid Al Adha ‘Dhu al-Hijjah’ crescent moon.

Based on the moon sighting, the month of Dhu al-Hijjah begins on Saturday, September 3. Dhu al-Hijjah is the 12th and final month in the Islamic calendar. It is a very sacred month in the Islamic calendar, one in which the Hajj (pilgrimage) takes place.

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