Moonsighting for Jumada-al-Oola 1436
1436 AH
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Our very experienced observer Jim Stamm saw the old Moon Crescent through 8” SC telescope on Wednesday; February 18, 2015 at 06:47 am (Local time) in Tucson (Windy Point), Arizona (USA) [Longitude = 110.71 W; Latitude = 32.36 N; Elevation = 2003 meters; Time Zone = -7.0 hours. Age of new moon was 11 hrs 41 min. Moon lag time was 28 min. Relative Altitude was 5.6°.

Crescent first observed through 8” SC telescope at 06:45 am; Moon Altitude was 0.9°. Final observation with telescope was at 06:47 am; Moon Altitude was 1.3°. This was a most interesting and rewarding observation. It became a priority for Mt. Lemmon because the first sighting of a crescent under 7° was made under similar conditions from the same place, and this elongation was close to 6°, significantly less than the 6.5° elongation observed previously.

Planning was meticulous, with a couple of dry runs at the desk the day before. The sky looked great the next morning, and the temperature on the mountain was warmer than expected. Aligning the scope took a little longer than usual, but all of the following steps went off without a hitch. The only element that did not cooperate was the limiting magnitude. I was charting 10th magnitude stars, but I was only seeing 8th magnitude. That prepared me for a negative observation. However, I was pointed really close to the horizon - still in the “red zone,” so 10th magnitude was overly optimistic. Only one or two of my confirmation stars showed up in the field of view. That was OK, because I was already locked on the correct location - even two minutes earlier than planned. Only the focus remained a little less than assured.

When the time came (06:40 a.m. local) to engage the clock drive set on lunar motion, I still hadn’t seen anything except a lot of those “false crescents”. The physiology of the eye is diabolical, creating arced images just the size of the expected crescent. Fortunately they were whiter than real crescents are, and they were of the wrong orientation.

Then at 06:45, after getting above the “red zone”, some of the “false” crescents began showing up in the right orientation, and at the right spot in the field of view. They were not as bright, and much shorter in arc-length, and more importantly, they lasted long enough to see them vibrate when I tapped the telescope tube. This still wasn’t long enough for me to confirm that I had seen the crescent, but they were multiple, periodically appearing for the next two minutes. Taken together I was confident that my sightings were real. I had observed a crescent with an elongation of 6.1° from the sun .... EXCEPT .... the dust specks on the lens of the eyepiece showed that the crescent had moved about an arc-minute or so during those two minutes. The movement was up, away from the sun.

The drive was set on “Lunar”, so the scope should have approximated the moon’s movement toward the sun. That drive movement is constant, while the actual apparent velocity of the moon is variable, so I will need to determine if that factor can explain the movement in the field of view. Also, refraction is a significant factor near the horizon, so I’ll need to determine if that could account for an arc-minute or so. Generally, the effects of refraction should be the opposite of what I observed. If anyone can help me out by suggesting other factors, I’d appreciate it.

Overall, the impression of this observation was that this first sighting was similar to the last sighting of some previous old moon crescents, where I would follow them up, tapping the scope for as long as possible, sometimes even observing after sunrise. If I can resolve the conundrum of the apparent aberrant movement of the old moon crescent, and then observe tomorrow’s new moon around noon, I may be able to observe “opposing” moons in less than 30 hours.


New Crescent Moon for Jumada-al-Oola 1436

The Astronomical New Moon (conjunction) is on Febraury 18, 2015 (Wednesday) at 23:47 UT. On Feb. 18, there is no possibility of sighting anywhere. On Febraury 19, 2015 (Thursday) the moon can be easily seen in North America, Central America, and part of South America; this moon may be seen with difficuly in Europe. On Febraury 20, 2015 (Friday), the moon can be easily seen in the whole world (See visibility curves).

1436jmo1

Sighting Reports

The earliest reported sighting of the new crescent was on Febraury 19, 2015 from Clermont Ferrand, France by naked eye.


Febraury 18, 2015 (Wednesday):

No sighting reports were received on February 18, just as predicted by visibility curves.


1436jmo2 Febraury 19, 2015 (Thursday):

  • Barbados:

    1. Seen: MCW member Mr. Mohammed Patel from Bridgetown reported: Today Thursday, 19th February,2015 the crescent was SEEN in partly cloudy skies. Seen by myself and one other person (female) at approx. 6:38 p.m. Confirmed sighting also by neighboring island of Trinidad. Insha'Allah the first of Jamada-al-Oola will be Friday 20th February 2015.

  • Egypt:

    1. Not Seen: MCW member Dr. Hisham M. Hamed from Cairo reported: On February 19, from Cairo, the new crescent of Jumada has not been seen, despite very good visibility. The bent pyramid of Dahshour (>19.2 km away according to googlemaps) was clearly visible. This corresponds to an extinction coefficient of ~0.2. Mars became visible slightly above Venus at 6:21 PM. Venus had been visible for quite a while, and it was very bright.

      Sunset was at: 5:47 PM local time, and moonset was at 6:30 PM local time. Best time for visibilty was ~ 6:06 PM. The topocentric illumination of the moon was ~0.77% which is less than 1%. Topocentric crescent width was around 12.6" (arcseconds). Recall that Yallop's criterion (NAO TECHNICAL NOTE No. 69) was derived from Bruin's basic data, which went down to W=0.3' = 18", with this entry actually extrapolated from other data.

      It had been cloudy, but shortly before sunset, a patch of sky cleared up in the direction of the setting sun, and hence the moon. Relative azimuth was less than 1.1'. Even without the clouds, it would not be seen without optical contrast enhancement, such as a decent telescope. Brightness calculations indicate that the background twilight was brighter than the moon by about 1.1 magnitudes/arcsec^2. Therefore, tonight is the eve of the complement of Rabii Al-Akhir (Feb 20th), according to the 30 day rule.

  • France:

    1. Seen: ICOP web site www.icoproject.org/icop/jua36.html reported that ICOP member Mr. Farid Fofana from Clermont Ferrand City in Puy de Dome State has seen the moon with naked eye on Thursday, February 19, 2015. The sky and the atmospheric condition were clear. A photo is also provided on that web site.
      This is just as predicted by moonsighting.com visibility curves.

  • Ghana:

    1. Not Seen: MCW member Mr. Malik Salifu Shaban from Garu Bawku reported: The moon was not seen in Garu on 19th February 2015, though the sky was clear. I started sighting effort from 5:50 PM - 6:30 PM local time with two of my friends in Garu but the moon did not appear.

    2. Not Seen: MCW member Mr. Baba Abdulai from Tamale reported: On Thursday 19TH February, 2015, the crescent was NOT seen. I was at the sighting post from about 18:20 to about 18:55 but I did not see the crescent. The sky was generally very clear with little trace of clouds. Sighting Community: Tampei-Kukuo Yepalsi (near Bi-Water reservoir).

  • Guyana:

    1. Seen: MCW member Mr. Fazal Mahmood from Corriverton, Berbice reported: I Fazal Mahmood, Shane, Shurwin and brothers from the Skeldon Jamaah saw the moon at 6:24 pm just after the Magrib salaah.

  • Morocco:

    1. Seen: MCW member Mr. Qamar Uddin from York, UK reported that he received a fax from the Morocco Awqaf Ministry of their sighiting results from 278 points covering all the territory of The Moroccan Kingdom. Moon has been seen.
      This is just as predicted by moonsighting.com visibility curves.

  • Nigeria:

    1. Not Seen: MCW member Mr. Jinadu Yunusa from Kisi, Oyo State reported: I and two others setout today Thursday, 19/02/15~1436\4\29 to sight for the new crescent and we could not sight it by our naked eyes. Time:At sunset, 6:50pm (LT). Duration:6:50 pm - 7:15 pm. Sky Condition: Cloudy weather and Bluish Horizon. We are waiting for official declaration of the new moon by the Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs.

  • South Africa:

    1. Not Seen: MCW member Dr. Abdurrazak Ebrahim from Cape Town reported: The 1436 H Jamadal Ula Hilaal was not sighted in Southern Africa on this evening of 19 February 2015 (end of 29 Rabiul Thani). 1st Jamadal Ula 1436 Hijri will be on 21 February 2015. Here are also the negative sightings reported from other places in South Africa and some other African countries:
      City Moon Altitude Result
      Cape Town (South Africa)+01°:59':26"Negative
      Bloemfontein (South Africa)+02°:36':37"Negative
      Johannesburg (South Africa)+01°:33':38"Negative
      Durban (South Africa)+01°:57':02"Negative
      Francistown (Botswana)+03°:48':38"Negative
      Maputo (Mozambique)+02°:47':41"Negative
      Kwekwe (Zimbabwe)+02°:52':25"Negative
      Windhoek (Namibia)+03°:55':10"Negative
      Lilongwe (Malawi)+04°:36':48"Negative
      This is all expected if you look at the visibility curve for February 19, 2015 shown somewhere above:

  • Sri Lanka:

    1. Not Seen: MCW member Mr. Suhail Patel from Colombo reported: The Crescent of Jumada al-awwal has not been sighted in Sri Lanka, therefore Jumada al-awwal will complete 30 days.

  • Tanzania:

    1. Not Seen: MCW member Mr. Hamza Rijal from Tiny Island of Zanzibar reported: Moon was not seen on Feb 19 in tiny Island of Zanzibar. 30 days will be Completed for Rabi-at-Thani 1436 AH. The first day of Jumada-al-Oola 1436 AH is Saturday 21st February 2015.

  • USA:

    1. Seen in the afternoon by telescope: MCW member Mr. Jim Stamm from Tucson AZ reported: On Thursday, February 19, I set up my 8" SC telescope this afternoon and acquired the crescent at 1:29 local (MST i.e. -7hr). The first thing that I did was set the scope to follow the moon at the lunar rate. Just like yesterday, the scope was advancing faster than the moon was across the sky. I am embarrassed to admit that I should have considered the correct lunar moving rate to begin with. The clock drive rate would naturally be set at the moon's apparent velocity across the sky at it's median distance from Earth. The moon would lag as it approached perihelion and advance as it approached aphelion. The moon was lagging, the moon was close to perihelion, the moon was right where it was supposed to be, while my original thought was "Is the moon in wrong place?".

    2. Seen: MCW member Dr. Javad Torabinejad from Christiansburg VA reported: This evening (Thursday, February 19, 2015), the crescent moon was sighted in Christiansburg, VA (Lat: 37° 07' 47" N, Lng: 80° 24' 32" W, and elevation: 638 meters). I arrived at my sighting location (The Blacksburg Middle School) around sunset (sunset: 6:05 pm, EST). Soon after, using a pair of binoculars (7X50), I started searching for the crescent in a partly cloudy western horizon. I sighted Venus high above the horizon; the crescent should have been to its lower right. Since more clouds were moving in towards the expected crescent location, I left this site for anther location in Christiansburg, a Town a few miles to the south. While driving, at 6:37 pm, I saw the crescent by naked eye. I stopped by one of my sighting locations in Christiansburg to take pictures. At this time, the crescent was very close to the clouds hugging the lower western horizon. The horns were at 4:00 and 7:30 O'clock (4:00;6:00;7:30). Mars was also sighted just above Venus. I left the area at 6:49 pm prior to moonset (moonset: 7:14 pm). At 6:35 pm, the temperature, dew point, relative humidity, and pressure were 2.3 F, -14.3 F, 46%, and 30.10 in, respectively.

    3. Seen: MCW member Mr. Mohamedraza H.Janmohamed from Sanford FL reported: The new crescent for the month of Jamadi-ul-Awwal was sighted in Miami, Florida, on Thursday, February 19, 2015.

    4. Seen: MCW member Mr. Sayyed S Rahman from Phoenix AZ reported: The cresent was seen with bare eye on Thrusday February 19, 2015 at 6:45 pm. The sun set behind the real horizon. The sky near western horizon was partly cloudy.

    1436jmo3 Febraury 20, 2015 (Friday):

  • Australia:

    1. Seen: MCW member Dr. Shabbir Ahmed Imam of Rooty Hill Mosque Sydney, NSW reported: The Hilaal of JAMAADIYUL OULAA has been sighted in Sydney on Friday, the 20th of February, 2015. Therefore, the month of JAMAADIYUL OULAA will commence from Saturday, the 21st of February, 2015.

    2. Not Seen because of clouds: MCW member Mr. Moussa Khalife from Sydney, NSW reported: Today is 20th of February 2015 we were 4 people looking for the crescent between 7:45 (sunset time) and 8:25 (moonset time) but unfortunately we couldn't see it because of the clouds.

    3. Seen: MCW member Mr. Engr Manzoor A Mian from Melbourne, VIC reported: The crescent was sighted in Sydney this evening, therefore the 1st day of Jumadil Awwal is Saturday, the 21st of February, 2015.

  • Egypt:

    1. Seen: MCW member Dr. Hisham M. Hamed from Cairo reported: From Giza, at 6:11PM, after Maghrib prayers of Friday, 20th, February 2015 I have observed the new crescent of Jumada I. The weather was mostly cloudy and windy until sunset (5:47PM). However, by the time I returned from Maghrib prayers, the wind had blown away most of the clouds on the western horizon. The sky was particularly clear. Temperature = 14 C; Pressure = 1014.00 mb; Humidity = 50%.

  • India:

    1. Seen: MCW member Mr. Shahid Ali Farooqui from Amravati, India Today 20th Feb.2015 at 18:35Hrs ( Indian Std.Time) i saw the moon of Jamade-ul Awal Hj.1436.One end touching 3 the other 9 at the watch.

  • Mauritius:

    1. Seen: MCW member Mr. Nissar Ahmad Ramtoola from Port Louis reported: The NEW MOON for the MONTH OF JAMAAD UL AWWAL 1436 HAS BEEN SIGHTED TONIGHT Friday 20 February 2015 in Mauritius. The sky was partly cloudy. Moon was sighted at Port Louis, Bagatelle, and Beau Bassin by members of Jummah Masjid Hilaal Committee. Saturday 21 February 2015 will be the 1st day of Jamaad Ul Awwal 1436.

  • Saudi Arabia:

    1. Seen today, Feb 20: MCW member Mr. Luqmaan Williams from Makkah reported: Thursday, February 19, 2014, in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, I did not sight the hilal. It was cloudy and there was obstruction from buildings around the Ka'ba.

      Friday, February 20, 2014, in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, I sighted the hilal just after Maghreb (The Evening Prayer) was completed. Luqmaan Williams sent this photo.

  • South Africa:

    1. Seen: MCW member Molvi Ashraf Dockrat from Pretoria reported: UUCSA's Hilaal Committee has confirmed that the #Hilaal has been sighted. In South Africa, 01 Jumâdal Ulâ 1436 corresponds to 21 Feb 2015.

    2. Seen: MCW member Mr. Rashid Motala from Durban reported: On Friday 20th February 2015, the Hilaal was sighted in South Africa. Jumad-al-Ula 1436 commenced on Saturday, 21st February 2015 in South Africa.

  • Sri Lanka:

    1. Seen: MCW member Mr. Nular Bary from Colombo reported: In Sri Lanka yesterday was the 29th.of Rabi Ul Thani (19/02/2015) we couldn't see the Hilal anywhere in the country as the Sunset was at 6:22 pm and the Moonset was at 6:47 pm. After Sunset at the age of 13H30M, though the sky was clear, naked eye sighting was impossible.

      Today Friday evening (20/02/2015) The New Moon of Jumda-al-Oola 1436 was very clearly visible to the naked eye from 6:40pm as the Sunset 6:22 pm and the Moonset at 7:45 pm Moonset. Anyway our Colombo Grand Mosque Hilal Committee yesterday made an announcement in the local media to complete the month of Rabi-Ul-Thani with 30 days and start the month of Jumada-Al Oola on Saturday 21st February 2015. "In Sha Allah" I have attached photo of the Today's New Moon.


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