Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ramadan's Moon

On the occasion of the eve of Ramadan, I would like to share an article written by my friend Mohamed Mabrouk of Sahara Safaris :

Ramadan Kareem ya Safarists! :)

Here are few facts that will help you understand and evaluate for yourself how a new Moon (new lunar month) is born. I will not get into any 'coordinates' of astronomy.

To understand, just think of the sky as a Dome around you while you are standing on Earth facing North.

- Moon (Al Qamar) travels in the Sky Dome in a circle which is almost the same as the Sun in the Sky Dome. It ALWAYS rises from the East and sets in the West.

- The Moon however is slower in the cycle than the Sun. You cannot notice the slowness within one day, but everyday it rises about 45 minutes LATER (actually 48 minutes) than it's time the day before. By approximately 30 days the delay (30 days x 0.80 hr) becomes a 24 hour delay. which means the MOON RISES AT THE SAME TIME OF THE DAY AFTER A MONTH.

- Two important time of this (30 day) month:

1) when the Moon is VERY CLOSE TO THE SUN at the circle of the Dome (they then seem to travel together along our Sky on that day, but you cannot see the moon because the Sun is so bright), then they rise almost together and set almost together on that day

2) when the Moon is ON THE OTHER END OF THE CIRCLE. This is when the Moon rises from the East almost at the same minute the Sun sets at the West.

Now you can see: Crescent is when the Moon is very near the Sun in the Cycle & Full Moon is when the Moon is furthest from the Sun in the Cycle.

So when is a New Moon born???

Ok. When the Sun starts coming close to catch up with the relatively slower Moon, that's when the Lunar month is about to end. Exactly the moment when they're running together, that's when the Crescent diminishes to almost zero (sometimes this moment is a Full or Partial Eclipse of the Sun) and then is born again facing the other side.

When this moment happens at any time of the day (or night) it means that this day is the last day of the Lunar Month and that the next day is the first day of the new Month.

It's much easier to explain the Desert of course. :)

Salaam,
Mohamed Mabrouk

Ramadan Kareem to all my friends who will be getting in touch with their spiritual side in the coming 30 days.

1 comment:

4xmisr said...

welcome in egypt
ramadan kareem
salamm

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