The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has said the appearance of the next astronomical lunar crescent, which signifies the end of fasting month of Ramadan, is on Wednesday, 12 May 2021.
If this occurs as predicted by the Nigerian space agency, Eid Fitri festival, which comes a day after the end of Ramadan, will be celebrated by Nigerian Muslims on Thursday.
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This is, however, subject to approval and announcement by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), which is headed by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar.
NASRDA in a statement by its spokesman, Dr Felix Ale, on Monday, said from its calculations, the agency found out that the conjunction of the moon will occur at about 8:00pm on Tuesday 11 May 2021; while the first astronomical lunar crescent will only appear in Nigeria on Wednesday 12th May 2021 at about 8:30am.
Ale, who later spoke with Daily Trust on phone, stated that the very first appearance of the lunar crescent could not be seen on Wednesday morning with unaided eyes because of its size and barrier caused by light.
But it will only be visible in the evening of Wednesday, between 6:21pm and 7:42pm, after sunset in Nigeria.
The statement read in part : “The first lunar crescent visibility in states are as follows; Yola in Adamawa State will be the first to witness the first young lunar crescent from about 6:21pm to 6:57pm and followed by Maiduguri in Borno State from 6:23pm to 6:59pm.
“The city of Jalingo in Taraba State will be the next to witness the appearance from 6:26pm to 7:02pm, while Yobe State in the city of Damaturu and Gombe state will experience the appearance of the Lunar crescent from about 6:28pm to 7:04pm, and 6:29pm to 7:05pm respectively.
“In Abuja the country’s capital City, the Lunar crescent will appear at 6:45pm and end with moonset at about 7:27pm while Kano and Sokoto will experience Lunar Crescent between 6:42pm and 7:19pm; and 6:57pm and 7:43pm respectively with Kano having a sunset at 6:42pm and moonset at 7:24pm.
“Also, Abeokuta in Ogun State will experience the appearance of the Lunar crescent between 6:56pm and 7:33pm, while in Kastina state the first lunar crescent will appear between the hours of 6:47pm and 7:24pm with sunset and moonset at about 6:47pm and 7:29pm respectively”.
The agency also said Jos in Plateau state and Kaduna state would experience the crescent from between 6:38pm and 7:14pm, and between 6:44pm and 7:21pm respectively.
According to its calculations the sunset and moonset in both states will be 6:38pm and 7:19pm and 6:44pm and 7:26pm respectively.
The crescent will be sighted in Enugu from 6:38pm to 7:15pm, with sunset and moonset at about 6:38pm and 7:20pm respectively while it will be lastly sighted in Birnin Kebbi between 7:00pm to 7:37pm, it added.
All other states of the federation will experience the lunar crescent between the estimated time of 6:21pm and 7:42pm on Wednesday, 12 May, 2021, according to NASDRA.
According to the space agency all results released by the agency show precise date, appearance time of first crescent, time of sunset as well as moonset for all the State Capitals and the Federal Capital Territory on Wednesday 12 May 2021.
Ale said the calculated results are made available for the information of the general public especially those who would need them for religious and academic purposes.