KARACHI: Though all eyes will be set at the heavens above but the chances of sighting the crescent for the Holy Islamic month of Ramadan on Wednesday are slim for the phase of new moon, the time between the moonrise and moonset, will be just 38 minutes long, Samaa reported.
“Owing to this short-lived conjunction or birth of new moon there is a very small possibility of the sighting of moon by telescope or naked eye,” Meteorological Department told Samaa.
On the other hand, the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, officially responsible for sighting of the new moon, will meet on Wednesday, June 17.
Chairman of the committee, Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman will chair the central committee meeting at the office of Meteorological Department located on University Road in Karachi.
The Phases of Moon
In astronomy, new moon is the first phase of the Moon, when it orbits as seen from the Earth, the moment when the Moon and the Sun have the same ecliptical longitude. The Moon is not visible at this time except when it is seen in silhouette during a solar eclipse or illuminated by earthshine.
In non-astronomical contexts, new moon refers to the first visible crescent of the moon, after conjunction with the Sun. This takes place over the western horizon in a brief period between sunset and moonset, and therefore the precise time and even the date of the appearance of the new moon by this definition will be influenced by the geographical location of the observer.
In the above meaning, the first crescent marks the beginning of the month in lunar calendars such as the Islamic calendar, and in lunisolar calendars such as the Hebrew calendar, Hindu calendars, and Buddhist calendar.
Saudi Arabia & Gulf
The UAE’s Moon Sighting Committee and the Supreme Judiciary Council of Saudi Arabia will meet today (Tuesday) in their respective countries to witness the Ramadan crescent.
Muslims in the Middle East, Europe and the US will be anxiously waiting for the announcement of advent of the holy month as majority of the Muslims in the Western countries follow Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Hijri calendar.
The Hijri date is the Islamic calendar which started in the moon year in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) immigrated from Makkah to Madinah.
If the moon is not sighted today, then the Ramadan will begin on Thursday in Saudi Arabia.–SAMAA/Agencies