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    Islamic calendar, was: The mil as a unit of angle.
    From: Trevor Kenchington
    Date: 2003 Mar 18, 09:23 -0400

    Richard Pisko wrote:
    > Interesting.  I wonder if Bangladesh uses a calculated
    > observation of the new crescent, or an observed one?  And
    > what does Pakistan use?
    For the religious calendar, it is very much an observation, not a
    calculation. And at the end of Ramadan ("Ramsan" in Bengali, if I
    remember correctly), with everyone anxious to be able to return to
    normal mealtimes, it is no small thing to have to wait one more day if
    the crescent moon isn't seen!
    Not being a Moslem myself, I am not certain of all of the details but I
    do not think that individuals are supposed to make their own
    determination of whether or not they can see the crescent just after
    sunset. On the other hand, I think that telecommunications are used now,
    so clouds on the western horizon in one place do not lengthen the month
    so long as the moon can be seen from somewhere else within the same region.
    It is, however, entirely possible for a new month to start in, say,
    California one day (of the Western calendar) before it does in Saudi
    Arabia, as the moon moves that bit further from the Sun during the
    roughly 12 hours between the time of sunset at the two places. In more
    familiar terms, that probably means that the Islamic religious calendar
    uses a different "dateline" to the Western one and, moreover, a
    "dateline" that varies in longitude from month to month.
    Trevor Kenchington
    Trevor J. Kenchington PhD                         Gadus@iStar.ca
    Gadus Associates,                                 Office(902) 889-9250
    R.R.#1, Musquodoboit Harbour,                     Fax   (902) 889-9251
    Nova Scotia  B0J 2L0, CANADA                      Home  (902) 889-3555
                         Science Serving the Fisheries

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