You may have noticed a particularly vivid full moon shining from the United Arab Emirates’ sky on Sunday night.
This was the seasonal Blue Moon, the third full moon of four that comes along in a single astronomical season.
A Full Moon rises fully illuminated because is directly opposite the Sun.
It was an exciting moment for many as professional and amateur astronomers took to their observatories and gardens across the country to witness the sighting.
Al Sadeem Observatory tracked the Blue Moon, and from humble beginnings it has become an established part of the field of astronomy in the UAE.
“At this time of year it’s a nice when the moon rises because it’s around seven or 8pm, and plenty of people can see t as it appears big with a reddish color, so the visual appeal is great,” Thabet al-Qaissieh told Al Arabiya English.
At one time many star gazing enthusiasts would congregate at Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi, but as the country’s cities grew the degree of light pollution matched it, pushing people tracking celestial events further into the desert.
Sheeraz Awan from the Dubai Astronomy Group told Al Arabiya English that there are more than 10,000 astronomers in the UAE comprising a mix of amateur and professional.
Although last night’s moon wasn’t blue, Awan explained that the name relates to indigenous peoples giving them specific titles as part of their own calendar.
The blue color appears rarely, but by using a blue filter many people get the view they really want.