JEDDAH: Parts of Asia, Africa and Europe witnessed a deep partial solar eclipse today that lasted for four hours, four minutes between 11:58 a.m. and 04:02 p.m. Makkah time. The sun was 82 percent eclipsed by the moon at its greatest peak in the city of Nizhnevartovsk in Russia’s Siberia.
Nationally, all of Saudi Arabia witnessed a partial solar eclipse in all its stages, but in varying degrees. The central, northeastern and eastern parts of the Kingdom had a higher eclipse rate compared to other regions.
The partial solar eclipse was seen in most of the Arab world, Europe, western Asia and northeastern Africa. It was the second and last eclipse of the year.
Prayer and solar eclipse sermons were held at the Grand Mosque in Makkah by Sheikh Bandar Baleelah at 1:45 p.m. Prayers were also held by most mosques in the Kingdom in accordance with the Prophet Muhammad’s traditions.
Majid Abu Zahira, head of Jeddah’s Astronomy Society, said that a partial solar eclipse occurs when only part of the sun is covered by the moon, making it appear as if a portion has been removed.
“During such an eclipse, the semi-shadow of the moon is passing over us, where the apparent diameter of the sun will be 0.6 percent larger than the average, and the moon will be only four days before perigee, which will make it relatively large at the great peak of the eclipse, but this does not have a real effect on this eclipse because it is a partial one.”
The eclipse was observed in the Kingdom with approximate matching timings and degrees, starting with Jeddah, where the partial eclipse lasted for two hours, six minutes, starting at 1:32 p.m. It reached its greatest peak at 2:38 p.m., with a percentage of 21.5, and ended at 3:38 p.m.
Makkah’s partial eclipse lasted for two hours, seven minutes, starting at 1:33 p.m. It reached its greatest peak at 2:39 p.m. with a percentage of 22.1, and ended at 3:40 p.m.
In Madinah, the partial eclipse lasted for two hours, 13 minutes, started at 1:24 p.m., and reached its greatest coverage at 2:33 pm with a percentage of 27.1, ending at 03:37 p.m.
As for Riyadh, the partial eclipse lasted for two hours, 15 minutes, starting at 1:32 pm and ending at 3:42 p.m. with a percentage of 33. It reached its greatest peak at 2:42 p.m.
Abu Zahira said that the eclipse was also partially observed in Arab capitals, including in Abu Dhabi with a coverage of 37.1 percent, Cairo with 25.7, Manama 38.8, Doha 37.5, Kuwait 43 and Muscat 36.4.
Jerusalem also recorded a coverage of 33.6 percent, Amman 34.8, Sanaa 14.6, Baghdad 46.3, Damascus 37.6, Beirut 37.1, Tripoli 5.1, Khartoum 6.0, Tunis 6.1 and Djibouti city 7.6.
However, the eclipse was not visible in other Arab capitals, including Algiers, Rabat, Nouakchott, Moroni and Mogadishu.
The partial solar eclipse will be followed by a total lunar eclipse two weeks later on Nov. 8. It will be visible from the west coast of the US, Australia and Southeast Asia, but not in the Arab world.a