Today was the first day of fasting for the month of Ramadan this year.
I lead a trip up to the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve in the northern Santa Cruz mountians on Sunday after noon with about 20 people attending. We spent about two hours along one of the ridge trails in the preserve waiting for the sun to set so that we could start searching. We had a good time while we waited.
It was another perfect day for moonsighting. The sky was clear and visibility was excellent. Although it was clear and sunny we had mild temperatures in the upper 60′s.
As the sun began to set, we all anxiously waited to start searching. Although the sunset was quite impressive with its deep orange color, we had to really stop ourselves from looking to prevent the green spots from appearing in our eyes which would hamper seeing the delicate crescent moon.
Finally the sun had vanished below the horizon. It left us with sublte pastel colored skies.
However, try as we did, we could not see any sign of the new crescent moon. Even though is was a 30 hour old moon, its age determine from the moment it is in conjunction with the sun, it was low on the horizon, only about 3.5 degrees in altitude, and was only in the sky for 20 minutes after the sun set. Most 30 hour old crescents are easy to see in the sky after sunset, but this one was to low ont he horizon and set too soon after sunset.
In the end, no one in North America saw the crescent moon that evening. Making the month of Sha’ban a 30 day month and with Ramadan beginning on Tuesday September 2, 2008.
With one day now complete we look forward to a blessed month ahead of us.
Peace – Youssef