“Eclipse Not Seen”: Saudi Cancelled Solar Eclipse Prayer 1 September 2016

A Facebook page of Haramain Info previously announced that there would be a Salatul Kusoof (solar eclipse prayer) in the Masjidil Haram in Makkah around 11 am local time on Thursday, 1 September 2016. This announcement was made amid reported astronomical event that would also be passing Makkah around that time. The eclipse was part of the Annular Solar Eclipse that was visible across south part of Africa.

However, the page said that because the eclipse was not visible, the salatul kusoof was cancelled. Indeed, the sun was calculated to be covered up to 10% by the moon above Makkah at maximum. This small covering of the sun might not give noticable changes in the light that is emitted by the sun. So, the authority of the Masjidil Haram decided not to offer the eclipse prayer.

Solar eclipse prayer cancelled in Makkah, 1 September 2016.
Solar eclipse prayer cancelled in Makkah, 1 September 2016.

In reality, the partial solar eclipse was happening at the time as shown by these images below, taken with ordinary SLR camera with solar filter:

Partial annular solar eclipse, 1 September 2016 as seen in Jizan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Start: 10:32, Maximum: 11:35, End: 12:39. Photos by Dr. Fabrizio Pinto, Canon 500D and Thousand Oaks solar filter (no digital processing), Laboratory for QuantumVacuum Applications, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Jazan University. Prof. Ali Al-Kamli and Dr. Fabrizio Pinto, Co-Directors. © 2016. Fabrizio Pinto.
Partial annular solar eclipse, 1 September 2016 as seen in Jizan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Start: 10:32, Maximum: 11:35, End: 12:39. Photos by Dr. Fabrizio Pinto, Canon 500D and Thousand Oaks solar filter (no digital processing), Laboratory for QuantumVacuum Applications, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Jazan University. Prof. Ali Al-Kamli and Dr. Fabrizio Pinto, Co-Directors. © 2016. Fabrizio Pinto. URL: http://saudigazette.com.sa/saudi-arabia/partial-eclipse-visible-jazan/

Meanwhile, the King Abdul Azis University astronomer also captured the partial solar eclipse with better astrophotography equipment. Below is the images they captured as published by the Saudi’s state news agency (SPA):

Partial solar eclipse over Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The sun was covered to about 4% at maximum around 11:20 local time. King Abdul Azis University.
Partial solar eclipse over Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The sun was covered to about 4% at maximum around 11:20 local time. King Abdul Azis University.
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