Jun 30, 2022
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On December 26, photographer Elias Chasiotis planned on capturing the solar eclipse while on vacation in Al Wakrah, Qatar, he probably didn’t count on what came next: A sunrise that appears to be two red devil horns over the Persian Gulf just days before the US embassy attack in Baghdad and one week before Soleimani’s assassination.

Devil Horn sunrise (Credit: Elias Chasiotis/ APOD website of NASA)


Only five days later, Iraqi backed insurgents attacked the US embassy in Baghdad. Exactly a week after the sunset was captured, IRGC head Qassam Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike.

The ‘Devil Horn’ sunrise evolved into a crescent, the symbol of Islam.

The ‘Devil Horns’ sunrise evolves into a crescent (Elias Chasiotis/APOD)


Chasiotis told Breaking Israel News in an exclusive interview that he didn’t necessarily notice the horns but was rather “wondering in what shape the eclipsed sun would rise like and especially, how possible inferior mirage effects would make it look.”

According to the SUN, his kind of mirage over the ocean is called a ‘Fata Morgana’. It occurs when rays of light are bent as they pass through air layers of different temperatures. It is named after the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay because it was once believed the mirages they were fairy castle created by her witchcraft to lure sailors to their death.

Nasa’s APOD site made the image go viral and added:

Here, after initial cloudiness, the Sun appeared to rise in two pieces and during partial eclipse, causing the photographer to describe it as the most stunning sunrise of his life. The dark circle near the top of the atmospherically-reddened Sun is the Moon — but so is the dark peak just below it. This is because along the way, the Earth’s atmosphere had an inversion layer of unusually warm air which acted like a gigantic lens and created a second image. For a normal sunrise or sunset, this rare phenomenon of atmospheric optics is known as the Etruscan vase effect. The featured picture was captured two mornings ago from Al Wakrah, Qatar. Some observers in a narrow band of Earth to the east were able to see a full annular solar eclipse — where the Moon appears completely surrounded by the background Sun in a ring of fire. The next solar eclipse, also an annular eclipse, will occur in 2020 June.