On the Sighting of the Crescent Moon

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by Rodion Herrera, Astronomical Solutions Company L.L.C

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.

2-day old crescent moon, photographed by the author in March of 2020, Muscat, Oman

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 β€œastronomical 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.

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Sighting Of The New Moon Of Ramadhan For 1441 Hijrah

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.

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Here is the challenge – What’s the youngest moon you can see this year 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.

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19-Hour Old New Moon Crescent of Rabiulakhir 1441H Sighted

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.

Photo of a little crescent (hilal), which is an illuminated portion on the margin of the moon, behind clouds.
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