Suhail: giant star to rise in the UAE sky

The United Arab Emirates is bracing for a cooler season after a hot and grueling summer with the arrival of the giant star Suhail rising over the southeastern horizon on August 24. Its appearance marks the end of summer and the gradual transition to a cooler season.

As is well known, the Arabs used the star Suhail (aka Canopus) for navigational purposes (as the south polar star) and for orientation on desert journeys. The yellowish white supergiant in the constellation Sails was also known as the star of Egypt and the wise star.

There are many legends and tales associated with it from one nation to another. In Arabia, it has a ‘season’ of 53 days, when a welcome coolness comes to the region, particularly after sunset. The Bedouins kept a close eye on the weather during this period: if the Suhail appeared in clouds and with a southerly wind, one could expect rain.

During this period, dates and lemons ripen in Arabia and are sold in the markets. On the 13th day after the star’s appearance, new palm trees could be planted, as well as gourds and pulses. The inhabitants of Arabia would take out and lay out their woolen clothes to dry. In addition, the start of the cool season was the start of the falconry season.

In the United Arab Emirates, health officials issued advisories for drivers and warned of the need to use sunscreen to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Although it has been a rather rainy summer in some regions of the UAE this year, temperatures remain high and most days are sunny.

According to medics, car windows do not protect against UV radiation and people with fair skin are at risk. Therefore, you should take the same precautions to protect yourself behind the wheel as you would when going to the beach.

In exposed areas of the body, doctors advise you to use a cream with a protective factor of at least 30SPF. You should also wear long-sleeved clothing that covers your hands when driving. Reapply sunscreen every two hours.

Source: Khaleej Times

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