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 can be seen that from the start of 1439 AH the first day's Hilal appears on the northern hemisphere in majority of months.
When the moon is in the northern hemisphere, it is possible to sight the Hilal from the UK horizon, if people make an 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!
The predicted date in 1441 AH (2019 - 2020) when the moon is expected to be sighted on the UK horizon are given below, which may be 29th or the next day (i.e. 30th or 1st lunar date in the UK to Morocco region):
|Observation Dates (for month)||Observation Dates (for month)|
29/09/2019 - may need binoculars
28/11/2019 - a day after Morocco
|25/02/2020 - a day after Morocco
24/05/2020 - a day after Morocco
21/07/2020 - may need binoculars
|*Astronomy Challenge: spot the Dhul Hijjah Hilal in the UK on 21 July 2020 using binoculars/telescopes (Yallop Code B/C)|
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:
- Identify a high location where the western horizon can be easily seen (down to ground/sea level)
- Make a note of the sunset position on a clear day with respect to the landscape a few days earlier
- Use the Internet or Mobile Phone Apps to note the sunset and moonset times for the location
- On the above dates, look for the Hilal close to the sunset position between the above setting times
- Try to use a suitable Mobile Phone App (eg. GPS Compass) to find the direction in cloudy weather
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.
- Change your camera setting to take photos in HD quality (5 MB)
- Use a tripod (standard or octopus type) with an adaptor to hold the camera steady
- Use manual focus and a remote trigger (Bluetooth or headphone cable volume control)
- If you do not have a remote trigger, try adding time delay (2 – 10 s) to reduce finger vibration
- 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 on tripods with Optical Zoom (e.g. Nikon Coolpix P900, Panasonic Lumix FZ82, Canon DSLR 1200D etc).
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.
See a short time-lapse video of sunset position: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_Y2T15OE8U
Please feel free to share this page and see also: A Handy Guide to Measuring the Sky
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to email us via our on-line Contact Us form.