Egypt to witness 5 remarkable astronomical phenomena on Wednesday

Jehad El-Sayed , Tuesday 20 Dec 2022

Egypt will witness on Wednesday five remarkable astronomical phenomena, including the annual solar alignments on the holy shrines at Luxor’s Karnak Temple and Fayoum's Qasr Qaroun Temple to mark the beginning of winter solstice.

Luxor s Karnak Temple witnessing the annual solar alignment on the main holy shrine of the temple on
Luxor's Karnak Temple witnessing the annual solar alignment on the main holy shrine of the temple on 21 December 2021


The solar alignment reveals the brilliance of ancient Egyptians, who were able to link astronomy with architecture in a unique structure that remains standing more than 2,000 years later.

The governorates of Fayoum and Luxor organise celebrations annually to mark the events of solar alignment with folkloric performances and concerts.

The third phenomenon is the winter solstice itself – which occurs on December 21 annually.

The winter solstice, which will occur at 23:48 in Cairo, marks the longest night and the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere when the sun reaches its most northerly excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere.

The country will experience over 14 hours of night, and just 10 hours of daylight, the state-run news agency MENA quoted Professor of Astronomy at the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG) Ashraf Tadros as saying.

Shadows will be longer than at any point throughout the year when the sun is at its lowest point on the horizon at noon on Wednesday, he added.

This year’s winter will last for 89 days, 20 hours and 44 minutes.

In addition, Wednesday will witness meteor showers with 10 meteors per hour expected in the sky, Tadros said.

Lastly, the planet Mercury will be at its most visible throughout the year as it moves to its highest point above the horizon just after sunset.

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