October 24, 2017

AstroEvent(s): Of Heliacal Risings and Slender Moons.

Can you see the ultra-thin crescent? (Photo by Author).

Dust off those Sothic cycle calendars again; the Dog Days of summer are upon us; yes, it’s time this first week of August to try that feat that the Ancient Egyptians depended on, with a sighting of the dawn heliacal rising of the bright star, Sirius. [Read more...]

17.08.09: A Ramadan Moon.

Slender New crescent Moons are always a fun and interesting challenge to spot…but this week’s crescent Moon is special. For the astronomy challenge of the week, I give you a Ramadan Moon. The Muslim calendar is one of several that are lunar based, meaning that it follows a cycle of complete phases of the Moon through one synodic month, which is 29 days 12 hours 44 minutes and 3 seconds long, respectively. This means that any given lunar calendar falls about 10-12 days per year out of sync with the Gregorian solar based one. Ramadan, (“or Ramazan,” as its known in Turkey) begins at sunset with the sighting of the Hilal or crescent New Moon and is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

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