UAE sets Crescent observation for March 10; Ramadan begins astronomically Monday

Asma Ahmed - | UAE

According to Engineer Muhammad Shawkat Odeh, director of the International Astronomy Center, the majority of Islamic nations can anticipate seeing the crescent moon of Ramadan on Sunday, March 10.

As the moon sets after sunset in almost every part of the Islamic world, the central conjunction is expected to take place at nine o'clock in the morning GMT on that day. Which is why many nations will likely start the holy month of Ramadan on March 11th.

Regarding the feasibility of sighting the crescent on March 10, based on established criteria from various scientific studies, including those by Ibn Tariq, Fotheringham, Maunder, Bruin, Elias, the SAAO Astronomical Observatory, and Odeh himself, it was deemed impossible to see the crescent anywhere in the Arab and Islamic world, either with the naked eye or using a telescope. However, telescope sighting was plausible in certain parts of the Americas, particularly the western regions. Therefore, countries relying on the accurate sighting of the crescent within the Islamic world are expected to begin Ramadan on Tuesday, March 12.

Odeh provided calculations for the position of the crescent on March 10 in various Arab and Islamic cities, detailing factors such as moonset time, age, and distance from the sun. In each location mentioned, the crescent was deemed unobservable, both with the naked eye and through a telescope, due to its insufficient duration, age, and distance from the sun.

On Monday, March 11, however, sighting the crescent becomes relatively easy across all Islamic regions. Observers are encouraged to look westward approximately 15 to 25 minutes after sunset, where the western horizon is visible, to catch a glimpse of the thin crescent near the area of the sunset. The crescent will appear close to the horizon and will set about 60 to 80 minutes after sunset.

For updates on the observation results of the Ramadan crescent, interested individuals can visit the website of the Islamic Crescent Observing Project of the International Astronomy Center at http://www.astronomycenter.net/icop/ram45.html.

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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
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