“The world is not ending” – this is the message from the Dubai Astronomy Group following a viral video of a US preacher who made sensational claims that the upcoming lunar eclipse is a sign that doomsday is nearby and that “we’re in our last days”.
Paul Begley, a US preacher, made claims in a video on his YouTube channel that “the UAE will be stunned” as the blood moon will be directly over the Middle East, including occupied Jerusalem. His views went viral and were picked up by media worldwide.
This lunar eclipse will be visible in different parts of the world and will be the longest one that has occurred in a century – being visible for one hour and 43 minutes.
Dubai Astronomy Group CEO, Hasan Ahmad Al Hariri, told Khaleej Times that the event is a “very natural astronomical phenomenon” and that no one should fall for superstitions and conspiracy theories. He has invited the residents to visit the astronomy centre on July 27 to witness the lunar eclipse and gain knowledge on the event.
Begley said that “with volcanoes erupting, lava flowing and foggy days in Hawaii”, the dust storms on Mars, ongoing earthquakes and the blood moon being directly over occupied Jerusalem means that a “biblical prophecy is becoming true”.
“The United Arab Emirates is going to be stunned – they’re already stunned at what’s coming. The Blood Moon that’s going to be directly over the Middle East, directly over Jerusalem and the UAE. They are already stunned by the realisation of 103 minutes of absolute Blood Moon over their heads,” Begley said in the video.
What science says
Al Hariri debunked Begley’s claims and said that the blood moon has a scientific explanation behind it.
“The lunar eclipse Is a geometry of three bodies, which makes the white bright moon turn blood-red. Now, how does it happen? When the sun, earth and moon are aligned, the shadow of earth falls on the moon and we see what we call the lunar eclipse.
“Usually, during the moon eclipse, which we see approximately twice a year in different places around the world, the moon passes in a short brief of time from above or below the shadows in partial levels or in fast speeds. But this upcoming lunar eclipse has a uniqueness because it goes from the centre and this geometry makes the eclipse the longest one to observe in a century,” he said.
“This time, it’s happening in such a way that almost of all of Asia will observe it, plus Africa, some parts of Australia and Europe. It’s an international phenomenon that we will have. It will be beautiful and visible for people all around the world.”
Al Hariri insisted that people learn about the astronomical phenomenon instead of falling for conspiracy theories and superstitions.
“Let me debunk this rumour simply – what does he mean when the world is coming to an end? How did he reach that conclusion? The moon is roaming around the earth continuously. So, why only around an eclipse is this going to happen?
“If the moon and the sun are both on the same sides, then there is a bigger chance that it will affect the tides of the earth. For example, there will be a higher tide. But when the moon and sun are opposites, they almost equalise the process, so there’s a mid-tide, there’s not even higher tide. It’s a very natural thing. There is nothing to worry about,” Al Hariri said.
“People have a misconception about the eclipse. This lunar eclipse is a very long one, people are being scared. Lots of people have a bad perception that it’s a bad thing. These kinds of superstitions surround these kinds of phenomenon. We tell everyone that none of this is true, it’s a very natural event that can be observed.”