Sun to set above Makkah on Saturday
Moslems praying at the Grand MASJID in the western Saudi city of Makkah will be able to see the sun straight above them on Saturday, a rare phenomenon that helps worshippers worldwide to set the exact direction of the holy city.
The phenomenon is the first this year and will take place exactly at 12:18 noon Saudi time (13:18 UAE time or 09:18 GMT), said Majid Abu Zahira, head of the Jeddah Astronomy Association.
“This vertical solar phenomenon will happen for the first time this year and Makkah will be straight under the sun….this means all structures and bodies in the Grand MASJID will have no shadow at that time…it will be a zero shadow,” he told the Saudi Sharq newspaper.
Abu Zahira said the phenomenon would help Moslems around the world in knowing the exact direction of Makkah, including those in Europe, Africa, Russia, China and East Asia, where the best time to define Makkah direction will be around sunset by looking at the sun.
In North and South Americas, the direction can be best known at sunset on that day, he said.