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Report: Full moon to align above the Kaaba on 28 January

Saudis and foreign residents circumambulate the Kaaba (Tawaf), as part of the Umrah pilgrimage, in the Grand Mosque complex in the holy city of Makkah, on October 4, 2020 [Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umra/AFP via Getty Images]
Saudis and foreign residents circumambulate the Kaaba (Tawaf), as part of the Umrah pilgrimage, in the Grand Mosque complex in the holy city of Makkah, on October 4, 2020 [Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umra/AFP via Getty Images]

The full moon will align with the Kaaba in Makkah at 12:43am local time on Thursday, Al Arabiyareports.

The moon will appear directly above the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site, in Saudi Arabia and align vertically with the Grand Mosque.

Majed Abu Zahira, president of the Jeddah Astronomy Association, told Al Arabiya: "The moon will rise with sunset from the northern/north-eastern horizon and set in the northern/north-western horizon."

This means, Abu Zahira added, the moon "will simulate the high path of the summer sun after six months across the night sky."

The moon will appear above the Kaaba after midnight in Saudi Arabia at an altitude of 89.57.46 degrees, Abu Zahira added.

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Later explaining that "the moon will remain visible in the sky for the rest of the night until it sets with the rise of the Friday sun."

The moon will be 99.9 per cent fully illuminated in its position 381.125 kilometres from the earth.

A full moon appears directly above Makkah's Grand Mosque once every year.

When it happens, Makkah residents are able see the full moon vertically above the Kaaba and in front of the constellations of the twin stars, the Saudi Gazette reported.

In 2018, Abu Zahira told the online outlet: "This phenomenon helps Muslims from all corners of the world locate the direction of Qibla (the direction Muslims face while praying)."

The sun rotates directly over the Kaaba twice every year, often in May and July. Though less noticeable, when this happens the Kaaba has no shadow.

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