Arabs fill the streets to watch partial solar eclipse

Other News Materials 1 August 2008 21:16 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - A partial solar eclipse was visible Friday in several Arab states with people in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Iraq going out onto the streets to watch it despite the summer heat.

In the UAE, a partial solar eclipse stayed for almost two hours, allowing hundreds of people to observe it.

In Iraq's capital Baghdad, many preferred to see the partial eclipse that stayed for an hour on TV, taking the advice of doctors who warned against looking directly at the sun.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, partially or totally blocking the sun's rays from reaching the earth.

The last solar eclipse in the Arab world was in March 2006, while the next one is expected to be in January 2010, according to the Voices of Iraq news agency.

In Siberia and China's far west on Friday thousands gathered to experience a total solar eclipse.