People gather to watch the sight of the sun directly overheading the palace of Qaroun in Fayoum - Archive People gather to watch the sight of the sun directly overheading the palace of Qaroun in Fayoum - Archive

In Photos: Solar alignment illuminates ancient temples

Thu, Dec. 21, 2017
CAIRO – 21 December 2017: Crowds of tourists and Egyptians flocked to Luxor on Thursday to witness the magnificent phenomenon of the sun aligning with the Temple of Amun inside the 4,000-year-old Karnak Temple.

The annual two-hour event, starting at 6 a.m., marks the first day of winter, as per the outstanding progressive knowledge of the ancient Egyptian.

Every year, attendees come to watch the sunlight as it falls perfectly perpendicular on the sanctuary of Amun Ra’a at the center of the temple; the sunrays then move towards the temple’s gates to reach Hatshepsut’s ancient temple.

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The sight of the sun falling perpendicular on the palace of template of Amoun Ra’ in Luxor - Archive

“The phenomenon is one of the most important events that we are seeking to utilize to revive tourism and spread knowledge of the ancient Egyptian civilization,” Luxor’s governor stated, adding that it is a proof of how ancient Egyptians were worldwide pioneers in the field of astrology.

Fayoum’s governor, along with top officials, archaeologists, ambassadors and tourists, also witnessed the rare astronomical phenomena, which occurred simultaneously at Karun Palace in Fayoum.

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The sight of the sun falling perpendicular on the palace of template of Amoun Ra’ in Luxor - Archive

The astrological event marks the northern winter solstice, which is the year’s shortest day and also the beginning of the winter season. It happens twice a year to mark both winter and summer.
 
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