The fasting month of Ramadan is expected to start on Wednesday, July 10, as the current lunar month of Shaaban will likely be 30 days this year, a well-known Saudi astronomy expert was reported on Sunday as saying.
Dr Ali Al Shukri, astrophysics professor at King Fahd Petroleum and Minerals University in Riyadh, said Shaaban moon would disappear on July 8 just after sunset and that it would be almost impossible to be sighted from Makkah again on that day.
“The moon could be sighted again, using telescopes in central and south America, but it would be almost impossible to be seen in Saudi Arabia on that day,” he said, quoted by the Saudi Arabic language daily Alriyadh.
“This means that Inshallah (God’s willing), the moon will be sighted by the naked eye in the evening on July 9, which will be the last day of Shaaban. Ramadan will then begin on July 10 according to astronomical calculations.”
The date is not yet definitive, however, and will finally be announced by the UAE’s official agencies.