The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has predicted that the appearance of the first astronomical lunar crescent for the month of June 2016 will commence on June 5.
NASRDA is saddled with the responsibility of carrying out scientific observation of the Moon, which is the nearest celestial object to the Earth.
Head, Media and Corporate Communications of the Agency, Dr. Felix Ale, in a statement said the first appearance of the moon could not be sighted with naked eyes except with the aid of Charge Coupled Device (CCD) imaging, astronomical telescope or any good optical astronomy instrument. Thus the proper sighting of the crescent with naked eyes signifies the beginning of Ramadan.
He explained that the first astronomical lunar crescent will appear in Nigeria on June 5, 2016 between 5:12pm and 7:37pm with Kaduna and Sokoto being the first to witness the first young lunar crescent at about 5:12pm concurrently to 7:33pm and 7:21pm respectively; while the lunar crescent will be sighted lastly in Jos the capital of Plateau State between 6:02pm to 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 June 5, 2016.
Ale pointed out that the results released by the Agency show precise dates, appearance time of first crescent, sunset as well as moon set time for all the state capital of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
He noted: “In Abuja, the first lunar crescent will appear between 5:37 p.m. and 7:18 p.m., with sunset at about 6:47pm, and moon set at about 7:18 p.m. While in Kano the appearance of the first lunar crescent will be experienced between 5:14 p.m. – 7:18 p.m., with sunset and moonset at about 6:55 p.m. and 7:18 p.m. respectively.
“Sokoto the seat of the caliphate will be the first along with Kaduna to experience the appearance of the lunar crescent between 5:12 p.m. – 7:33 p.m., and 5:12 p.m. – 7:21 p.m. respectively with a sunset and moonset time of about 7:04p.m., 7:33 p.m., and 6:43 p.m., 7:21 p.m. respectively.
“The South-West states of Lagos and Ibadan will expectedly experience the first lunar crescent between 5:46pm – 7:32pm, and 5:48pm – 7:31pm respectively. And the sun will set in these states at about 6:57pm and 6:55am, while the moon will set at about 7:32pm and 7:31pm respectively.”
The NASRDA spokesman emphasised that the conjunction time for the first lunar crescent in Nigeria on 05/06/2016 is at 4:00 local time, oriented at an Azimuth of +288⁰:2’53” in Abuja, Azimuth of +288⁰:04’25” in Kaduna, Azimuth of +288⁰:04’57” in Kano, Azimuth of +288⁰:01’03” in Lagos, Azimuth of +288⁰:04’”00” in Sokoto, Azimuth of +288⁰:05’54” in Maiduguri, Azimuth of +288⁰:01’21” in Ilorin and, +288°:05’:00” in Port Harcourt.
He added that, the calculated results are made available for the information of the general public especially those who would need them for religious and academic purposes, saying scientific researchers should be at the liberty to request for detailed analysis or more results on other states of the federation from the Space Agency.