The sighting of the new moon is a particular subject in astronomy that has fascinated many observers since prehistory. Evidence of early human civilizations using the moon as a basis to measure time in the form of an actual lunar calendar has been discovered in the ancient plains of Scotland, dating back to 8,000 B.C. Professor Samuel L. Macey of the International Society for the Study of Time in his book, Encyclopedia of Time, says that using the moon to measure the passage of seasons was evident as far back as 28,000-30,000 thousand years. Therefore, the method by which we measure the beginning and the end of the new moon phase is indeed a crucial part of determining the accuracy of any lunar calendar.
Since the Islamic months follow a lunar calendar, the start of each month is marked by the first sighting of the crescent moon. It is important to note however, that the Islamic new moon is actually different to the “astronomical new moon”. We define the astronomical new moon as that point when it is in conjunction with the sun, and thus it is actually too close to the sun and is very dark, for most of the lunar disc is in shadow. This point marks the beginning of measurement for the true age of the moon.
Here is the challenge – What’s the
youngest moon you can see this year? The infographic will tell you when to hunt
the new moon crescent (hilal),
and where to locate its position in the western sky at sunset from Brunei
Darussalam in 2020.
Note: Prediction method by Mohammad SH. Odeh (New Criterion For Lunar Crescent Visibility, 2005) employed new criterion visibility of the lunar crescent, V. This is only a computational analysis data. The result/declaration of the sighting/beginning of hijrah month should be referenced to official media by the Government.
Bandar Seri Begawan – The new 19-hour old crescent moon of Rabiulakhir was sighted today, on Wednesday evening (November 27th) by moon-sighters of Brunei Darussalam Astronomical Society at 6.31 pm, when the curved light was less than 2 degrees above the horizon.
The western sky was cloudy near the horizon at sunset, scopes were aligned using the 3 planet – Venus, Saturn and Jupiter – and unable to align using the Sun as it was most of the time behind the clouds.
Here’s our cosmic idea for school holiday activities – Lunar Crescent Marathon!
Go out to look for the daily changing moon crescent in early morning, before sunrise, on May 27 until Jun 02 2019 for the Waning and Old Crescent in the Eastern sky. Continue your observation on evening of June 04 until June 10 2019, shortly after sunset, for the New and Waxing Crescent in the Western sky.
Bandar Seri Begawan – Members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam were at Bukit Agok, Tutong, for a practical session to look for the new crescent moon (hilal ~11 hour old) this evening of Sunday, May 5th in anticipation of the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.
Members had the opportunities to learn setting up telescopes properly, scopes alignment to the sun or other bright objects, photographing and tracking the new moon. The western sky was pretty clear at sunset, and a sunspot was also visible on the sun.
Bandar Seri Begawan – The western horizon was generally pretty clear and Venus was visible late afternoon yesterday (Jun 14, 2018) , but it was very windy and cloudy (from altitude about 6 degree and below) near the horizon where the moon was located in the sky.
Borneo Bulletin – TWO working papers on the use of modern technology for the sighting of crescent moon (Hilal) were presented during the Falak Syar’ie parallel session at The Rizqun International Hotel, Gadong yesterday.
The parallel session was part of the 14th Southeast Asia Survey Congress (SEASC) 2017 organised by the Ministry of Development’s Survey Department, in collaboration with the Brunei Institution of Geomatics (BIG), under the auspices of the Asean Federation of Land and Geomatics Survey (AFLAG). Continue reading “New techniques for moon sighting explained”
Due to the recent outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19), the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) has postponed all our activities such as annual meeting, stargazing, new moon observation etc. until further notice and focus on implementing Astronomy at Home or in a small group activity. This is in view of prevention and to control the spread of the infection in Brunei Darussalam.