The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has said the crescent for this year’s Islamic lunar month of fasting, Ramadan, will be visible on May 16.
Muslims commence Ramadan fast a day after the appearance the crescent or after the completion of 30 days of Sha’abaan, the immediate month preceding Ramadan.
“NASRDA has successfully calculated and predicted that the first appearance of the first astronomical Lunar crescent for Ramadan will be sighted on Wednesday 16th May”, a statement from the country’s space agency said on Friday.
In the statement signed by the Head of Media and Corporate Communications of the agency, Dr Felix Ale, NASRDA, the appearance of the moon is expected to signify the beginning of Ramadan in line with Islamic tradition.
The statement explained that the first conjunction of the moon will occur at about 12:48pm on Tuesday 15th May 2018, but will later appear in Nigeria on Wednesday at 12.05 hours and can only be viewed with a Charged Couple Device (CCD), an Astronomical telescope, or any good optical astronomy instrument.
The NASRDA Spokesman however said, the young moon will be observable in Nigeria with unaided eyes between 6:11pm and 8:09pm, with Port Harcourt, Maiduguri and Taraba being the first to witness it at 6:11pm to 6:50pm, 6:56pm to 7:35pm, and 6:59 to 7:30pm respectively on Wednesday 16th May, 2018.
While it will be sighted lastly in Kebbi state between 7:33pm to 8:12pm, and in Sokoto and Ogun States between 7:29pm and 8:09pm concurrently, and in Lagos state between 7:28pm and 8:08pm on same day.
Dr Ale said all other states of the federation will experience the lunar crescent at an estimated time of 6:11pm and 8:09pm on 16th May 2018.
The lunar crescent will appear in Abuja between 7:18pm and 7:58pm while appearance of the moon in Kano will be experienced at 7:15pm and end at 7:54pm.
And, in Katsina the moon will appear between the hours of 6:55pm and 7:34pm.
Enugu and Kaduna will experience the first appearance between the hours of 6:39pm and 7:50pm and 6:45pm and 7:57pm respectively.