5 July 2019
Blow the shofar! The new moon was visible on 4 July in Australia, Israel and the United States.
|Melbourne, Victoria Australia
|Lawton, Oklahoma, United States
J. Adam Meyer
4 July 2019
The new moon was sighted from Israel this evening, Thursday, 4 July 2019!
- From Jerusalem at 7:46pm by Devorah Gordon, followed by Gil Ashendorf.
- From Tiberias at 7:49pm by Dennis and Maureen Chkolnik.
- From the Zevulun Valley at 8:11pm by Yoel Halevi and his son.
- From Kfar Eldad (El David) at 8:20pm by Bruce Brill.
On behalf of all of us who rely on these observations, we wish to thank everyone in Israel who looked for the new moon this evening and sent in their observations in a timely manner! The photo at the top of this report was taken by myself from our observation point in Jerusalem this evening. Be sure to keep track of what number month this is, based on when you started the new year.
It has come to my attention that some of you are curious as to why we looked for the new moon last night being that it was only the end of the 28th day of the month, so let me try and explain.
The reason we looked for the new moon last night, even though it was only the end of the 28th day of the month, is that although astronomically a lunar month is either 29 or 30 days, the new moon can be visible 28 days later, if the newmoon of the previous month should have been visible at the end of the 29thday, but wasn’t due to poor atmospheric conditions.
When the new moon should have been visible at the end of the 29th day of the month, but wasn’t due to poor atmospheric conditions, and therefore we have to wait for the following evening to begin the new month, we can end up seeing the next new moon 28 days later, because although only 28 days have passed since we started the new month, it is actually 29 days since the last new moon.
So for example, last month on June 4, 2019 in the evening we went to look for the new moon as usual. As you may recall, we did not end up seeing the newmoon that evening, even though the moon had an illumination of 2.11% and a lag of 69min, and therefore had no choice but to begin the new month the following evening on June 5, 2019. As a result, it so happened that there was a slight possibility that the new moon may have been visible last night, so we went out to look, but we did not see it.
It should be noted that here is nothing wrong with having a 28th day month. In fact, had we seen the new moon last night, we would have begun the newmonth last night, because it is irrelevant that only 28 days had passed since the last time we saw the new moon. Having a 28-day month, just means the beginning of the previous month would have begun a day earlier, were it not for poor atmospheric conditions.
Just to be clear, we did not end up having a 28-day month this month, but I thought it was a good teaching opportunity, as it has happened before, there was a possibility of it happening this month (although it didn’t), and there is of course a possibility of it happening again in the future, so it’s important to understand how a 28-day month happens, and that it’s not a big deal when it does happen. I hope this explanation has been helpful.
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Chodesh Tov! Make it a great month!
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Very clear conditions. RJ (1 observer)
Lawton, Oklahoma, United States
Moon sighted high in the sky at 8:58 pm Central Time from Lawton, OK. Shofar sounded! We looked on 7/3/2019 but without success (heavy clouds). WI (6 observers)