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A circle of fire in the Arabian sky

On Boxing Day, people in the Middle East were lucky enough to observe a rare astronomical phenomenon: a solar eclipse.

Today, in the Middle East, but also in India and Southeast Asia, a “circle of fire” solar eclipse has illuminated – or darkened – the sky. This rare phenomenon, which will occur again in June 2020 but will only be observable from other geographical areas, has pleased many astronomers, but also many amateur photographers.

A photograph of the eclipse taken from the city of Al Hufuf, Saudi Arabia.

This type of eclipse occurs when the moon, which is too far from the earth to fully cover the sun, reveals what we might call a “sun crescent”. Although the event occurs every year or every two years, it can only be seen from a thin strip of land, each time different, making the eclipse a unique event. From the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Sultanate of Oman, the day should be remembered.