I meant to post this a few days ago, but am just now getting around to it. For those who follow the calculated Ummul Qura calendar, the start of the month of Muharram will be on 12/07/2010. Below are the sunrise and sunset times for Winter Haven, Florida, for December 5, 6, and 7.
New Moon: 12:36pm
Note that on 12/05/2010 the moon sets after the sun by 2 minutes, however the moon’s age at sunset is just under 5 hours, thus, it still will not be visible. Per the “astronomical experts” the age of the moon has to be 15 to 18 hours or so for it to be seen and from what I’ve read, it would take a very experienced moon sighter to be able to see the crescent of such a young moon. Which also reminds me of also reading that when some people do spot a crescent and it happens to be thicker than what they are used to/what they feel a young/new crescent should be, they assume it’s a second day crescent, when that may not actually be the case. .
At any rate, per moonsighting.com’s Muharram page, The Astronomical New Moon is on December 5, 2010 (Sunday) at 17:36 UT. On Dec 5 it can not be seen anywhere in the world. On Monday, December 6, 2010, it can be easily seen in Africa and Americas, but with difficulty in Western Australia, and South East Asia. On Tuesday, December 7, 2010, it can be easily seen in Europe (See visibility curves).
The sunrise and sunset times for Makkah for 12/05/2010 and 12/06/2010 are as follows:
New Moon: 8:36pm
Note that the new moon is at 8:36 PM on 12/05/2010. At sunset on 12/06/2010, this will make the age of the moon about 21 hours or so old, and the lag between sunset and moon set is 41 minutes. It might be possible to sight the moon in Makkah on 12/06/2010, though I’m not sure how the visibility curves have it. Whatever the case, it looks as though the month of Muharram and thus the Islamic year of 1432, will begin on 12/07/2010, Inshallah.
Thus for those who started Dhul Hijja on 11/07/2010, the month will be 30 days for you, while those who started on 11/08/2010, the month should be 29 days.
I don’t want to be preachy about the Sunnah of sighting the moon, but as a blind person who’d love to see the moon and can’t, I’d encourage all of the sightlings of the world to please go out and look for the new crescent tomorrow night, just for me, please?