It’s that most wonderful time of the year for the Muslim people. Muslim communities around the world are currently commemorating Ramadan, known as their holy month. During this season, Muslims conduct numerous traditional and religious etiquette such as regular family gatherings, timely prayer, fasting and charitable works.
Al Sadeem Astronomy (ASA) Observatory performed a Ramadan Moon Sighting activity yesterday from 6pm to 7:30pm together with 2 Muslim families. Unfortunately, the “Ramadan Moon” was not sighted due to the following reasons:
1) A generally hazy sky condition was experienced which made the seeing poor over the area, and
2) Though we had a good approximation of where the moon was located, the Sun was shining so bright since it was still up, glaring out the almost 1% illuminated (a very thin) crescent moon.
Astronomical calculations precisely predicted of the start of Ramadan. The astronomical new moon happened on May 25, 2017 while its waxing crescent moon phase occurred yesterday, May 26, 2017, making the start of Ramadan today, May 27, 2017, as announced by the UAE and Saudi Arabia authorities.
Astronomically speaking, Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic Calendar, a 12-month calendar in which the length of a month is based on the lunar phase cycle, lasting for about 29-30 days. Historical wise, Muslims believed that the revelation of Quran to Prophet Muhammad occurred in this period in which made this month sacred for them.
Nonetheless, here’s an image of the waxing crescent moon (4% illuminated) taken from Al Sadeem Observatory today at 7:14PM, May 27, 2017.