Leicester Astronomers aid project to identify start of lunar month

Collaboration to determine start of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar.

Astronomers from our University have worked in partnership with the Europe-wide Moon Sighting Effort to help with declaring the start of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah.

Andrew Blain, who is Professor of Observational Astronomy in our Department of Physics and Astronomy, joined staff and students from the department and members of the Moon Sighting Effort on top of the Attenborough Tower on August 12.

Professor Blain said: “We were approached by a moon sighter to see the new moon at sunset and declare the start of the month of the Hajj this year on August 12th.

“It was a complete weather bust, but we did host two visitors from the Europe-wide Moon Sighting Effort on the top of Attenborough in the rain - and might try again in May for Ramadan.”