UAE - The last long weekend of 2023 will shine bright as the year's last supermoon rises during the three-day break. On Friday, September 29, the 'Harvest Moon' will light up night skies across the world, including the UAE.

Employees of both private and public sectors in the UAE will get Friday off to mark Prophet Muhammad's (Peace be upon him) birthday. When combined with the Saturday-Sunday weekend, this translates into a three-day holiday. This is the year's last long break as the National Day holidays fall over the Saturday-Sunday weekend.

According to the Dubai Astronomy Group (DAG), a supermoon is a full Moon that "nearly coincides with perigee" — the closest that the Moon comes to the Earth in its elliptic orbit. This results in a "slightly larger-than-usual apparent size of the lunar disk as viewed from Earth".

The DAG said the last supermoon of the year will be a sight to behold.

"This lunar spectacle promises to be a breathtaking visual delight, as the Moon graces us with its brilliance in a grand celestial finale," it said.

Harvest Moon

This month’s lunar show is also called the Harvest Moon because it happens closest to the start of the autumn season. According to Nasa, before electricity became available, farmers depended on the Moon's light to harvest their crops at night. "The Moon's light was particularly important during fall, when harvests are the largest."

How to watch celestial show

No special equipment is needed to enjoy the bright sky, just look up on the night. The DAG is hosting a paid event at Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre in Dubai's Mushrif Park. The event will feature lectures, telescope observation and photography.

August 2023 witnessed the rise of two supermoons. After illuminating the night sky on August 1, Earth's closest celestial neighbour rose as a Super Blue Moon at the end of the month. It was also the brightest supermoon of the year.

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