Date (2011) Times of first sighting and setting of the crescent Moon*
London Manchester Leeds Glasgow
31 July Crescent moon not visible Crescent moon not visible Crescent moon not visible Crescent moon not visible
1 Aug Crescent moon visible under perfect conditions around 20:58; sets 21:09 Crescent moon visible under perfect conditions around 21:12; sets 21:19 Crescent moon visible under perfect conditions around 21:10; sets 21:16 Crescent moon easily visible around 21:27; sets 21:29
30 Aug Crescent moon not visible with a telescope  Crescent moon not visible Crescent moon not visible Crescent moon not visible
31 Aug Crescent moon easily visible around 20:03 sets 20:18 Crescent moon easily visible around 20:11; sets 20:23 Crescent moon easily visible around 20:09; sets 20:19 Crescent moon easily visible around 20:19; sets 20:25

*Times are BST not GMT, and may not correspond exactly with the official (religious) sighting of the crescent moon.

Watercolour painting of the crescent Moon
The dates of Ramadan and other Islamic months depend on the sighting of the new crescent Moon.

Information on the visibility of the Moon from anywhere in the world is available from HM Nautical Almanac Office's Websurf facilty:

  • - accept the conditions of use (Websurf homepage)
  • - select the 'Moon-Viz' link
  • - choose or search for a place
  • - select a date range
  • - The visibility information (time) is in the 'BEST TIME' column;
    Moon set time is in the 'Moon set' column. NB add +1 hour for BST. 

Also of interest

  • Persian astrolabe - reteAl Hijra and the Islamic Calendar - fact file
  • Persian astrolabe - a beautiful astrolabe dating from 1070AH by the Islamic calendar, and including a grid for finding the direction of Mecca from a number of different towns and cities.
  • Arabic (Islamic) brass globe - 18th-century globe showing all 48 constellations that were known to the Ancient Greeks, and engraved with the Arabic names of some of the stars.
  • Transmission of knowledge - as Islam spread across Northern Africa from the 7th century, it helped change the purpose of astronomy: for example, it was now needed to produce accurate tables of prayer times.