Fear, thrill as ‘Ring of Fire’ adorns skies

360

Staff Reporter

Islamabad

Pakistan witnessed on Sunday an occasionally visible annular solar eclipse that occurred all over the world this summer solstice. According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, the partial eclipse began at 8:46am. However, the complete eclipse began by 9:48am.
At approximately 11:40am, the moon was said to have completely eclipsed the sun. As per the Met department, the eclipse ended at 1:32pm.
): People offered Salatul Kusoof (eclipse prayers) in several cities of Pakistan during solar eclipse on Sunday.
Meanwhile, eclipse prayers were offered at several mosques in Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Chaman, Sukkur, Shikarpur, Sujawal, Mirpur Khas, Haroonabad, Kalabagh and other cities across the country, attended by large number of believers.
In Sukkur, eclipse prayers were offered in a large congregation at Shahi Jama Masjid in Old Sukkur area. Salatul Kusoof was also offered in a congregation at Jama Masjid Mansoor in Lahore. Jamat-i-Islami chief Senator Sirajul Haq addressing the congregation told the people to seek forgiveness for past sins from Allah, offer repentance and vow not to repeat the misdeeds again.
Solar eclipse was also witnessed in Saudi Arabia and people offered Kusoof prayers at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
Salatul Kusoof or “eclipse prayer,” offered in Islam when the moon comes between the sun and Earth or the Earth comes between the sun and the moon halting the solar rays.
In a tweet from his personal account Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said the country was to witness six eclipses this year – four lunar eclipse and two solar eclipse. However, the second solar eclipse, expected to occur on December 14 will not be visible in Pakistan, he added.
The minister also pointed at the age-old misapprehensions that surrounded events like the solar eclipse owing to humankind’s limited knowledge. “Now that science has revealed the truth behind eclipses, all the myths related to it are at death’s door,” the minister observed.
The astronomical event was greeted with much excitement and nervousness as the solar eclipse hashtag trended in Pakistan. While some people shared hilarious memes, others wondered whether it was the end of the world.
Remarkably, the eclipse this Sunday was on the northern hemisphere’s longest day of the year – the summer solstice – when Earth’s north pole is tilted most directly towards the Sun.