The Crescent of this year’s Ramadan is expected to appear around sunset on Sunday, June 5, 2016, the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) said yesterday.
Muslims commence the Ramadan fast after the crescent of Ramadan, the ninth lunar month, must have been sighted by at least one trustworthy Muslim.
This means if the crescent appears and it is sighted on June 5, this year’s Ramadan fast will start on June 6.
But the Nigerian space agency in a statement yesterday said the first appearance of the crescent might not be sighted except with the aid of Charge Coupe Device (CCD) imaging, astronomical telescope or any good optical astronomy instrument.
The statement, which was signed by NASRDA’s head of media and corporate communications Dr Felix Ale, said the astronomical lunar crescent would appear between 5:12pm and 7:33pm on June 5 with Kaduna and Sokoto being the first to witness it while it would be sighted lastly in Jos between 6:02pm and 7:14pm.
“All other states of the federation will experience the first lunar crescent between the estimated time of 5:12pm and 7:37pm on 5th June, 2016”, the statement added.
The statement further said the findings of the agency showed precise dates, appearance time, sunset as well as moon set time for all the 36 states of Nigeria. The agency said it made the calculated times available so that Nigerians who want to use the information for religious and academic purposes could benefit from it.