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.
The Brunei Darussalam Syariah Courts have announced that by the consent of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Yang Berhormat Yang Di-Pertua of the Islamic Religious Council announced that the 1st of Syaaban 1441 Hijrah fell on Thursday, the 26th of March 2020. Therefore, Nisfu Syaaban for the year 1441 Hijrah falls on Wednesday, 8th of April 2020.
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.
Bandar Seri Begawan – The Western sky was clear on the evening of August 31, 2019. The celestial objects, Venus and Sun, were used for scopes alignment during the new moon sighting.
The new moon observation of Muharram 1441H was held at Agok Hill by members of Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam. The 24 hour-old hilal (crescent moon) was sighted immediately after sunset, 6.28 pm (after pointing the scopes at sunset and slewing to the Moon).
PABD wishes all Muslims in Brunei Darussalam and around the world Salam Maal Hijrah 1441H.
Brunei Darussalam will determine Hari Raya Aidiladha with a moon sighting of month of Zulhijjah 1440 Hijrah nationwide on 29 Zulkaedah 1440 corresponding to 1st August 2019 at several designated areas in the three districts.
In the Brunei Muara District, the moon sighting will take place at the DST Tower of DST Headquarters building, Tungku Highway, Bukit Agok Jerudong, Tanjung Batu and Kampung Sabun. Meanwhile in the Belait District, Bukit Lumut and Bukit Ambog di Tutong District. The outcome of the moon sighting will be broadcast through Radio Television Brunei as soon as the result is received.
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 – 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.
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.