Dubai: The diminishing hunchback moon will align directly above the holiest Islamic site, the Kaaba in Mecca, on Thursday, December 23, according to astronomers.
The rare celestial phenomenon will take place two hours and 11 minutes before Fajr prayer at the Grand Mosque where people of Mecca will be able to see with the naked eye the diminishing hunchback moon appearing vertically above the holy Kaaba.
The mesmerising view of the alignment of the moon just above the Kaaba will be the third and last time during the year.
On January 28, it aligned directly above the Kaaba for the first time in the year, and it happened again on March 25 in the same year.
According to Saudi astronomers, the celestial phenomenon can be used to find the direction of the Qibla (the prayer’s direction towards the Kaaba) in a simple way from several regions around the world, as Muslims in geographical locations far from the Grand Mosque can rely on the direction of the moon that points to Mecca.
The fact that the moon is visible directly above the Holy Kaaba makes it easier to determine the direction of the Qibla. In the past, the direction of Qibla towards Kaaba was determined in the same way.