Supermoon eclipse dazzles over pyramids in Egypt

Egyptians gather at the Great Pyramids of Giza in the early hours of Monday to witness a rare supermoon eclipse.

CAIRO, EGYPT (SEPTEMBER 28, 2015) (REUTERS) – A group of Egyptians arrived at the Great Pyramids of Giza in the early hours of Monday (September 28) to watch the supermoon eclipse in the historic spot.

Among those who gathered were Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zazou and Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty.

Damaty said that watching the eclipse at the iconic Pyramids made the experience even more special.

“Monitoring this phenomenon at the Pyramids of Giza, and in the area of the great pyramid in particular, is in fact a special monitor of this special astronomical phenomenon near a special civilisation spot of the world,” Damaty said.

Egypt has been facing a steady wave of extremist attacks, mostly targeting security forces, over the past two years following the overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Tourism, one of the country’s main sources of revenue, has suffered as a result.

But Zazou insisted Egypt is safe and invited tourists to the country.

“I mean Egypt is completely safe, and I welcome people to come over and see for themselves and particularly today and onwards, there will be lots of exciting issues to discuss,” said the tourism minister.

Sky-watchers around the world came out on Sunday (September 27) night and Monday to watch the shadow of Earth casting a reddish glow on the moon, the result of rare combination of an eclipse with the closest full moon of the year. The total “supermoon” lunar eclipse, also known as a “blood moon” is one that appears bigger and brighter than usual as it reaches the point in its orbit that is closest to Earth.