A prime example of religion and science cooperating

Excerpted from an article in the Jan. 2000 Sky & Telescope concerning the Jordanian Astronomical Society:

“Predicting the visibility of the young crescent Moon is one of the most important applications of astronomy in Islam. By tradition, each of the 12 lunar months of the Islamic calendar begins after the declared visual sighting of the Moon following its conjunction with the Sun at new Moon . . . in December 1998 the JAS initiated a project called the Islamic Crescents’ Observation Project (ICOP) which aims to gather the largest possible number of lunar observers worldwide . . . Its importance is especially demonstrated at the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The sighting of the waxing crescent moon determines the start of Ramadan, when Mulims abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk.”

The article mentions that observers worldwide, regardless of locale or religion, are welcome to participate. More info is available at www.jas.org.jo/icop.html


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