Partial solar eclipse dazzles Iraq for two hours
Iraq, including the northern Kurdistan region, on Tuesday afternoon, witnessed a partial solar eclipse for several hours, with schools closed, Muslims carrying out a special prayer and science students enjoying the rare space phenomenon.
Schools were closed on Tuesday in the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad, other provinces, and across the Kurdistan region due to the solar eclipse.
Professors and students of the Physics Department at the Science College of Sulaymaniyah University observed the partial solar eclipse via a special telescope, inviting journalists to cover the event.
"The partial solar eclipse in Sulaymaniyah city started at 1:05 PM local time and will end at 3:33 PM, covering approximately half of Sun's disc," Mohammad Ahmed, a professor at Sulaymaniyah University, told The New Arab during the event.
"We, as the Physics department, tried to observe this phenomenon scientifically via a telescope to prevent harm to our students' and teachers' eyesight through direct looking into the sun. Today no one can see the partial solar eclipse through bare eyes," Ahmed added.
According to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), "When the Moon orbits Earth, the Moon moves between the Sun and Earth. When this happens, the Moon blocks the light of the Sun from reaching Earth. This causes an eclipse of the Sun or a solar eclipse. During a solar eclipse, the Moon casts a shadow onto Earth. A partial solar eclipse happens when the Sun, Moon and Earth are not exactly aligned. The Sun appears to have a dark shadow on a small part of its surface."
Answering a question about the consequences of directly looking into the sun during the solar eclipse, Ahmed said that such unscientific behaviour will lead to serious damage to the eye's veins and then causes blindness.
Science students were enjoying observing the phenomenon and media channels were covering it live.
Muslims in several mosques performed a special prayer that is been performed by Islam Prophet Mohammed during solar eclipses. The last annular solar eclipse in Iraq happened on 21 June 2020.
According to the solar-eclipse.info website, the next partial solar eclipse in Iraq will be in 1,741 days on Monday, 2 August 2027, and the next total solar eclipse in Iraq is in 2,1497 days on Wednesday, 3 September 2081.