CAIRO: Egypt witnessed a partial solar eclipse on Tuesday that lasted for almost two hours. It was observed throughout the Middle East and a portion of Europe.
Many tourists observed the event at the Giza Pyramids. The American University in Cairo (AUC) hosted a public event at its downtown campus to give people a chance to observe the eclipse using special sunglasses and solar telescopes.
The event started at 9 am and lasted until 2 pm. Aside from observing the eclipse, the event’s program included an exhibition of science and technology, as well as a documentary about the Sun and solar energy.
The partial solar eclipse reached its peak at 10:30 am, when the Moon covered about 45 percent of the Sun. Although it is easy to observe the eclipse through the special sunglasses, it is considered dangerous and harmful to the eyes to gaze at the Sun during an eclipse.
The event was planned by Dr. Alaa Ibrahim, an assistant professor of physics at AUC, who has over 15 years of experience in physics and astronomy at various internationally recognized academic institutions.
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring the Earth’s view of the Sun. Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity — which represents our best understanding of gravity — was not widely accepted until a total solar eclipse took place in 1919. During the eclipse, observers noted that the light from distant stars bended while passing by the Sun (due to gravity), as predicted by Einstein in 1915.
Over the next 10 years, there will be only three other solar eclipses visible from Cairo; they will occur in 2013, 2015, and 2020. –Additional reporting by Agencies