Astronomy: Morocco To Observe Ramadan on Monday


Rabat – The International Astronomy Center (IAC) declared that Ramadan is most likely to begin on Monday, May 6, in most of the Arab countries.

Officials of countries like Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Jordan, India, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, and others have called on their citizens to keep a close watch on the moon for the night of Sunday, May 5, while other countries like Saudi Arabia called for moon sighting on Saturday, May 4, which corresponds to Sha’baan 29 of its official calendar, Umm al Qura.

Saudi Arabia also called on its citizens to keep their eyes peeled for the moon to come out on Sunday, May 5, which, according to the center, corresponds with the actual 29th day of Sha’ban.

The IAC affirmed that, according to astronomical calculations, the crescent moon would be impossible to observe on Saturday, May 4, because it will “not be in the sky after sunset.”

On Saturday, they added, there will be what astronomers call “conjunction” after sunset. This means the earth, moon, and the sun will be in a straight line and that the moon sighting is obstructed.

The IAC notes that the of sighting the moon is only possible through the telescope for countries like Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Egypt, and Morocco.

Because it relies both on naked eye sighting as well as astronomical calculations, Morocco has not even once misjudged the start day of Ramadan from 1984 to 2007, according to the Emirati astronomer Mohammed Shawkat Awda.

In Saudi Arabia, however, the margin of error regarding start day of Ramadan stands at 87%. 63%, which corresponds to 29 years, Saudi Arabia declared the start day of Ramadan the day it was impossible for moon sighting.