Ahead of the Muslim Ramadan celebrations, the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has predicted that the appearance of the first astronomical lunar crescent (moon) for the month of May, 2021 will be sighted on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.The space agency stated this through its Centre for Basic Space Science (CBSS) saddled with the responsibility of carrying out scientific observation of the nearest celestial object to the Earth which is the moon.
A statement from the agency’s head of media and corporate communications, Dr. Felix Ale, said from its calculations, the agency explained that the conjunction of the moon would occur at about 8:00 pm on Tuesday, May 11, 2021; while the first astronomical lunar crescent would appear in Nigeria on Wednesday May 12, 2021 at about 8:30 am.
According to the agency, the very first appearance of the lunar crescent cannot be seen with unaided eyes because of its size and likely light, but will be visible to the naked eye in the evening sky of Wednesday, May 12, 2021 between 6:21 pm and 7:42 pm after sunset in the country.
“The first lunar crescent’s visibility in states are as follows: Yola in Adamawa State will be the first to witness the first young lunar crescent from about 6:21 pm to 6:57 pm 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 6:26 pm to 7:02 pm, while Yobe State in the city of Damaturu and Gombe State will experience the appearance of the Lunar crescent from about 6:28 pm to 7:04 pm, and 6:29 pm to 7:05 pm respectively,” it said.
The statement said in Abuja, the country’s capital city, the Lunar crescent would appear at 6:45 pm and end with moonset at about 7:27 pm while Kano and Sokoto will experience the Lunar crescent between 6:42 pm and 7:19 pm and 6:57 pm and 7:43 pm respectively with Kano having a sunset at 6:42 pm and moonset at 7:24 pm.
It further said Abeokuta, Ogun State would experience the appearance of the Lunar crescent between 6:56 pm and 7:33 pm, while in Katsina State the first lunar crescent would appear between the hours of 6:47 pm and 7:24 pm with sunset and moonset at about 6:47 pm and 7:29 pm respectively, adding Jos, Plateau State and Kaduna State would experience the crescent from between 6:38 pm and 7:14 pm, and between 6:44 pm and 7:21 pm respectively.
According to calculations the sunset and moonset in both states will be 6:38 pm and 7:19 pm and 6:44 pm and 7:26 pm respectively.
“The crescent will be sighted in Enugu from 6:38 pm to 7:15 pm, with sunset and moonset at about 6:38 pm and 7:20 pm respectively while it will be lastly sighted in Birnin Kebbi between 7:00 pm to 7:37 pm.
“All other states of the federation will experience the lunar crescent between the estimated time of 6:21 pm and 7:42 pm on Wednesday, May 12, 2021,” it added.
According to the statement, 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, May 12, 2021.The statement added that the calculated results were made available for the information of the general public especially those who would need them for religious and academic purposes.
It further said scientific researchers should be at liberty to request for detailed analyses or more results for other cities within the federation other than the state capitals from the space agency.