Dramatic “Ring of Fire” Solar Eclipse is a First for Saudi Arabia

Jeddah, MINA – Saudi Arabia will wake up to a “Ring of Fire” in the sky on Thursday — a spectacular solar eclipse believed to be the first of its kind in the Kingdom.

The final solar eclipse of 2019 will farewell the year in dramatic fashion in places such as India, Singapore, the Philippines and areas of Australia as well as the Gulf region.

According to Arab News, eyewitnesses to the annular eclipse will see the moon move in front of the sun, blocking out the center but leaving the edges visible — creating a “Ring of Fire” in the sky.

Abdullah Al-Misnad, a climate professor at Qassim University’s geography department, said that the Dec. 26 eclipse will be the first of two in Saudi Arabia, with a second eclipse due on June 21, 2020.

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The solar eclipse is expected to last 2 minutes 55 seconds. It will not be visible to all Gulf countries, but is limited to a 160 km swathe across southern areas of the Arabian Peninsula.

Hofuf in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province — the only Gulf city over which the eclipse shadow will pass — will have unrivalled views of the “Ring of Fire” eclipse, Al-Misnad said.
However, he cautioned people against looking or staring at the sun during the eclipse.

Dr. Salwa Al-Hazaa, a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at King Faisal Specialist Hospital, also warned against looking at the sun during any type of eclipse because of the high risk of eye damage.

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Gazing at the sun during a full or partial solar eclipse is harmful and could cause partial blindness, she said.(T/R04/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)