Complete this form and register as a “Crescent Chaser”. This is to facilitate local Moonsighting. When the Moon is sighted, all your details are already available to us and you have been pre-vetted. It makes your sighting a lot to simpler to verify for the Scholars.
In the event of sighting, send in your Name & Crescent Chaser ID and the details of your sighting. Your sighting details must include date, time of the sighting and orientation of the crescent. It is better to send us a photograph but it is not a requirement. You only need to contact us when sighting the crescent on the 29th of the Islamic month. Sighting on any other days do not need verification.
Become a member:
Please complete the form below.
Moonsighting Tips & Tricks
Read this first:
- Moonset: There is no equipment which can be used to sight the Moon once it’s set, its gone! Similarly Moon cannot be sighted a few minutes after sunset. Make sure to look at moonset and ensure that there is sufficient lagtime (moonset – sunset) for you to able to sight the crescent. This is because the crescent is thin and barely lit while the sunlight is bright and the thin crescent cannot be seen in the presence of (bright) sunlight. Let us make this important point again. There is no filter, no binocular, no telescope which will let you sight the Moon which sets 2,4, or 6 minutes after sunset, its impossible! Moon has to be in the sky for you to sight it.
- Sun: Do not look at the sun directly with your eyes or with your binoculars, camera or telescopes without an appropriate solar filter. Your telescope and DSLR camera can heat up and be damaged within minutes if you try to focus on the sun. Put a solar filter in front of your (automatic) telescope or binoculars and then track the sun as it sets to get ready to sight the crescent.
- Moon: It is easily visible in the sky if the horizons are clear. You do not need to drive hundreds of miles for moonsighting, a good vantage point such as the roof of the Mosque is sufficient.
- Azimuth: You need to know the Azimuth of the Moon at a given time. You can watch the video below and obtain the exact location of the Moon. Azimuth is the direction of the Moon.
The human eye is great blessing and marvel of Allah’s creation. However as we age the size of the pupil (which varies) between people gets even smaller. Our pupil is at its best between the ages of 21–29 (on average) and it is (approximately) 7.0 mm in average humans, keep this figure in mind.
Human eye has remained the same in thousands of years but (light) pollution has increased tremendously in our surroundings. The scientific advancements are in optical Aids and magnification so here is a summary of tools which you can use to assist you in sighting of the crescent.
No Technology (easy) sighting:
You need to prepare for sighting of the crescent before sunset. Select your location with an excellent vantage point and get to the location before sunset. You need to observe the sunset and record the location. Crescent is visible in the same (approximate) area of sunset (to the right or left). Remember that after moonset, the crescent is no longer on the horizon to be seen.
Your eyes need to get used to the surroundings and air temperature and it takes about 15–20 minutes for your eyes to adjust.
You need the following tools to be able to track the positon of the crescent, some of these apps are available on Android while others on Apple. You need to use them well before you actually try to sight the crescent to get used to how they function. Your phone (or device) needs to have the right hardware, for example take a look at the comparison between a LG G6 and Moto G5S Plus. Moto G5S Plus does not have a compass which severely limits the use of this phone with some of the apps given below.
- Stellarium: Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer, use the free version and there is no reason for you to pay for it.
- Sky View Cafe: Sky View is an online portal to obtain all the necessary technical data for the sun and the Moon.
- Google SkyMap (Andorid): This App is sufficient on an android phone to track the Moon.
- SkyView® Lite (iPhone): This App is sufficient on an iPhone to track the Moon.
- LunaSolCal (Andorid): This App is sufficient on an android phone to track the movements of the Sun and the Moon.
- LunaSolCal (iPhone): This App is sufficient on an iPhone to track the movements of the Sun and the Moon.
- Lunar Phase (Android): This App is sufficient on on an android to track the Moon.
- Azimuth Compass (Android): This App is sufficient on an android to track the Moon.
- Commander Compass GO(iPhone): This App is sufficient on an iPhone to track the Moon.
Binoculars are a better choice for Moonsighting because binoculars are cheap, easy to setup and robust. Telescopes due to their magnification, make the field of view smaller. You need to understand that as the magnification increases, the field of view decreases. It is because things are getting bigger so you have less area which you can look at and binoculars are an excellent choice for sighting the crescent, keep these specification in mind and buy a binocular with:
- Fully Coated/Multi-coated/Fully Multi-coated: This is the anti-reflective coating on your binocular and buy the best coating your money can buy. There is no universal definition of coating but check to see that you have full coating (at least).
- Porro Prism: Purchase the binoculars with Porro prims instead of Roof prism for Moonsighting.
- BaK4: Purchase the binoculars with BaK4 instead of BK7 for Moonsighting.
Stay away from cheap Ebay/no-name binoculars even if they claim to have all of these features! The Celestron SkyMaster (15 x 70 or 25 x 70 or 20 x 100) are excellent choices for your needs. You need to keep in mind that all of these The Celestron SkyMaster (15 x 70 or 25 x 70 or 20 x 100) are heavy and your hands will get tired very quickly. Your hands will also shake so buy a cheaper SkyMaster (binocular) which is lighter or if you choose to buy a more expensive model, buy a tripod stand (with an L adaptor). Leave your binoculars out in the open with all caps taken off for 15–20 minutes before you begin to sight because the lens needs to get used to the temperature of the air and surroundings.
Get a used Tripod from Ebay. As a rule of thumb, your tripod should be able to hold twice the weight of the binocular. Do not buy cheap new tripods, a used tripod should cost you no more than £20. Two base models which are ideal for your binoculars are and cheaply available on Ebay are:
- Jessops Atlantic 322
- Jessops TR120
This is a picture of an ideal setup:
SKY WATCHER SKYLINER 200P is an excellent Telescope and you can buy a used one (on Ebay) for under £100.00. It is manual and you will need to build a platform to raise it higher as it will be low and your back will get tired. The Telescope comes with a tripod and you can easily move it around to focus on the right areas.
This is SKY WATCHER SKYLINER 200p:
The bigger the tube of the Telescope, the more light it lets in and you will get better vision. These Telescope have a GPS and a database and they will automatically move and focus on an object once you have them properly aligned.
Stay away from cheap Ebay/no-name telescope even if they claim to have all of great features!The best for Moonsighting (at budget prices) is Celestron 11049 NexStar 4 SE and more than sufficient for your needs. 5 SE, 6 SE and 8 SE are 5 inch, 6 inch and 8 inch tubes are more expensive but the electronics are the same. Leave your telescope out in the open with all caps taken off for 15–20 minutes before you begin to sight because the lens needs to get used to the temperature of the air and surroundings.
This is Celestron 11049 NexStar 4 SE:
Your phone has a good enough Camera to take a picture but it may not be good enough for low-light conditions. Hold your phone against the lens and take a picture.
You can buy a Nikon (D3400) or Canon EOS Rebel T7 / Canon EOS 2000D with a standard lens and it will connect to the back of your telescope via an adaptor (which you need to buy separately).
This is a Nikon (D3400) with a standard lens:
This is a Canon EOS Rebel T7 with a standard lens:
Your DSLR Camera can connect to a laptop using a standard HDMI cable. This means that you can look at the images on a huge screen instead of through a small eyepiece. You can also zoom your images etc.
This is a Camera attached to a Celestron 11049 NexStar 4 SE. Camera can then be connected to your laptop using a USB or HDMI cable: