Saudi Arabian authorities release never-before-seen images of Kaaba’s Black Stone

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Saudi Arabian authorities released on Monday new pictures that offer a never-before-seen close up view of the Black Stone in the Kaaba in Mecca.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques captured the details on the Black Stone – known as Hajar Aswad in Arabic – with a new technique that uses stacked panoramic focus.

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The stone was photographed for a total of seven hours to produce a single image with the highest resolution, according to authorities.

The images are up to 49,000 megapixels and took 50 hours to develop.

Muslims believe the famous Black Stone descended directly from heaven and was given to the Prophet Abraham by the angel Gabriel.

The stone is set within a pure silver covering and is located in the corner of the Kaaba, about a meter and a half from the ground.

During the Umrah or Hajj pilgrimage, Muslims are encouraged to touch the stone after every Tawaf – or circumambulation – around the Kaaba.

However, due to the large number of pilgrims who visit every year, it is acceptable to wave at it from a distance.

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