Solar phenomena above Islam’s Kaaba expected on first day of Ramadan

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca. (AP)

The National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics in Egypt has announced that the first day of this year’s Ramadan, which is set to take place on Saturday, will witness something unique: the sun will rise perpendicularly over the Kaaba at 12:18 local Mecca time, during the noon prayer.

The institute added on that at 12:18 on Saturday, the shadow of the Kaaba will disappear, and the direction of the sun at any point in the world will be the exact direction of the Qiblah, the direction where Muslims must pray toward the Kaaba.

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The department in charge of researching the Sun’s activities at institute said in a statement on its official Twitter account that the elevation angle of the sun at the time of the Zuhr prayer will be 89.93 degrees above the Kaaba, that is only 0.07 degrees away from being 100% vertical at 90 degrees.

This phenomenon occurs twice a year: the first will be on May 27 and the second on July 15. However, what is special this year is that it coincides with the first noon prayer of Ramadan.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49