Sunday 16th June 2024 | Ahad 9th Dhul-Hijjah 1445 [?]

The first day’s youngest crescent moon (Hilal) appears from different places on the earth each month, moving from east to west, as well as from south to north. Looking at the predicted crescent visibility maps for a whole year, it is possible to sight the Hilal from the UK horizon, if people make an earnest effort to sight it (weather permitting). However, it should be noted that the lunar year has approximately 6 months that are 29 days and 6 months that are 30 days (in different combinations), which means we should not expect to sight the Hilal on every 29th day! Note also that a leap year may have 5 x 29 days and 7 x 30 days per month (or vice versa).

The predicted dates in 1446 AH (2024 - 2025) when the moon is expected to be sighted on the UK horizons are given below, which may be the 29th or the next day (i.e. 30th or 1st lunar date in the UK to Morocco region):

Observation Dates (1446) Observation Dates (1446)
07/07/2024 Su* (Muharram) 01/01/2025 We (Rajab)
06/08/2024 Tu* (Safar) 30/01/2025 Th (Sha'ban)
05/09/2024 Th* Rabi-I) 01/03/2025 Sa (Ramadan)
05/10/2024 Sa* (Rabi-II) 30/03/2025 Su (Shawwal)
04/11/2024 Mo* (Jumada-I) 28/04/2025 Mo (D.Qa'dah)
03/12/2024 Tu* (Jumada-II) 28/05/2025 We (D.Hijjah)
[low altitude/Lunar Standstills] Key: *a day after Morocco

To make a successful sighting of the Hilal (even if cloudy), it is necessary to plan the observation effectively with the following considerations in mind:

  1. Identify a high location where the western horizon can be easily seen (down to ground/sea level)
  2. Make a note of the sunset position on a clear day with respect to the landscape a few days earlier
  3. Use the Internet or Mobile Phone Apps to note the sunset and moonset times for the location
  4. On the above dates, look for the Hilal close to the sunset position between the above setting times
  5. Try to use a suitable Mobile Phone App (eg. GPS Compass) to find the direction in cloudy weather

YorkSunset 2018 10 31 how to

See a short time-lapse video of sunset: | See also: A Handy Guide to Measuring the Sky

How to Plan for Moon Sighting
This short video (7 mins) explains how to sight the Hilal, even in cloudy weather, using some widely available technology at your fingertips (i.e. mobile phone with Internet access). The links to the free software tools used in the video examples can be found in the website, under the Links tab. [Oct 2020]

How to take photos of the crescent moon

A mobile phone camera could easily be used to take a fairly good quality photo of the crescent moon. However, since the moon is very far away from the earth (about 384,400 km), a small finger-tap vibration can cause the photo to become blurry, compared to taking a photo of any nearby objects.

Therefore, the following guidelines may help you to take better quality photos (and don’t forget to switch your phone’s Location On): OctopusTripod

  1. Change your camera setting to take photos in HD quality (5 MB)
  2. Position your camera in a dark area, away from any artificial lights (e.g. street lamps)
  3. Use a tripod (standard or octopus type) with an adaptor to hold the camera steady
  4. Use manual focus and a remote trigger (Bluetooth or headphone cable volume control)
  5. If you do not have a remote trigger, try adding time delay (2 – 10 s) to reduce finger vibration
  6. Upload your photos on cloud storage (e.g. Google Drive) and share the entire folder (e.g. Hilal)

It is possible to take winning photos of a “Spot the Moon Photo Competition” with a mobile phone camera, but most of the past ones were using digital cameras with optical zoom, mounted on tripods (e.g. Nikon Coolpix P900, Panasonic Lumix FZ82, Canon DSLR 1200D etc). You could achieve similar results with a mobile phone adapter mounted on a binocular eyepiece, too!

You may also find it useful to use The Photographer’s Ephemeris App (Web) useful to check the sun-moon direction on Google Map and to plan your photo shot (HMNAO/Yallop criteria).

After your observation submit your result on our website (positive or negative), so it can be taken into consideration by the UK Ulama when making a decision for the start of the new month, InshaAllah. []

Related: Importance of Moon SightingWinning Crescent Moon Photos | Links

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to email us via our on-line Contact Us form.