IN PICS: Your guide to solar eclipse

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Several UAE cities will witness a partial solar eclipse on Friday between 9:15 AM and 12:26 PM, reaching its peak at 10:46 AM.(Getty Images)
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The eclipse will start in Abu Dhabi and move on to Al Ain, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, newswire WAM reported on Thursday.
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The longest duration for a total solar eclipse is 7.5 minutes. A total solar eclipse is not noticable until the sun is more than 90 percent covered by the Moon. At 99 percent coverage, daytime lighting resembles local twilight.
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Eclipse shadows travel at 1,100 miles per hour at the equator and up to 5,000 miles per hour near the poles.\nThe maximum number of solar eclipses (partial, annular, or total) is five per year and there are at least two solar eclipses per year somewhere on the Earth.
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Total solar eclipses happen about once every 1.5 years. Nearly identical eclipses (total, annual, or partial) occur after 18 years and 11 days, or every 6,585.32 days, known as the Saros Cycle.
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The Saros Cycle exists because it takes 18 years and 10 days for the entire orbit of the Moon to move once around in its orbit plane so that the lunar nodes make one complete revolution along the orbit. Because the true length of the Saros Cycle is 6,585.32 days, you have to wait three Saros Cycles in order for an eclipse to repeat at the same spot on Earth.
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Light filtering through leaves on trees casts crescent shadows as totality approaches.\nLocal animals and birds often prepare for sleep or behave confusedly during totality.\nLocal temperatures often drop 20 degrees or more near totality.
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Successive eclipses in the Saros Cycle happen 1/3 of the way around the world from each other, and after three Saros Cycles, the eclipse returns to nearly the same geographic location after 54 years and 33 days.
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Every eclipse begins at sunrise at some point in its track and ends at sunset about half way around the world from the start point. Partial solar eclipses can be seen up to 3,000 miles from the track of totality.
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Before the advent of modern atomic clocks, studies of ancient records of solar eclipses allowed astronomers to detect a 0.001 second per century slowing down in Earth's rotation.