'Fuzzy ball' comet paints the UAE sky bright green

Around 100 people, including kids, witnessed how the UAE skies were painted in bright green glow during the 'stargazing party' for Comet 21P organised by the Dubai Astronomy Group (DAG) in Al Qudra desert on Thursday night.

Armed with curiosity and the cooler weather working in their favour, they trooped to the desert as early as 9pm and stayed until 3am the following day. They were not disappointed as binoculars and giant telescopes were provided by the DAG to let them see Comet 21P, which looked like "fuzzy ball" glowing in bright green hue. Visitors also had a better view of the other constellations and enjoyed the lectures on astronomy by the DAG experts.

"The comet is a mixture of gases, water and dust. When it comes near to the sun rays, the heat reaches the surface and the gas escapes and acts as a tail of the comet.

There is a dust tail and ion tail with ionized particles which comes from the comet itself. The gas coming out of the comet is energised and they start to emit light. There are two elements which contribute to the glow of the comet - which is a gas called cyanogen and the atomic carbon gasses," Hasan Al Hariri, CEO of the Dubai Astronomy Group, explained before the event.

The DAG said the next astronomical phenomenon visible in Dubai will be on December 14.