Why to observe?
Prayer times are just estimations. The methods of calculation treat the earth as a perfect sphere. But earth has mountains and valleys. Calculations can not replace our own observations. This is why we encourage people not to rely only on lists from the Internet, but to do their own observations. We collect your data to adjust the prayer times calculations on our web site.
Before you start
Before you start your own observations you need to prepare yourself. Be sure that you understand what you need to look for and don't interpret texts yourself. Get someone knowlegable to help you with your observations.
You know this phenomena very well, you go to bed, switch your light off and you can't see anything in your room. You walk blindly. The same applies to observations. Don't try to sight an phenomena if you can't see it because your eyes didn't adapt to the darkness. Know that your eyes need at least 30 minutes to adapt to the dark light. After this period your eyes are most sensitive. Use only red LED lights as used by amateur astronomers if you want to check the time or write something down. Do not use your phone because even watching once at the dimmed screen can disturb your dark adaption. Knowing this, we understand that we have to avoid light sources around us and especially in the direction of sighting.
Find a good location for observations
Cities are a bad place for observations because your eyes never adapt to the darkness and the cities pollute the sky with artificial light. If you stay in the country side you need to consider light pollution from other cities on the horizon. Cities on the horizon can create light domes which can be confused with sun light. In densely populated areas it can be impossible to find a place without light pollution. (Map of light pollution)
If you don't have perfect conditions where you live, you have to do some research which location could be suitable. Following a list of how you could prepare:
- Check in which direction the the sun rises or sets, you can use for example suncalc.net
- Use for example Google Earth to find an elevated place without big cities in the direction of the observation
- Often you can't observe the rising and setting from one location, find a location for each
- Be flexible and prepared to try another place, sometimes the location looks good on the internet, but when you arrive trees block your view
Prepare the observation
To make your observation successful you need to be prepared.
- Make sure you will be dressed in warm and comfortable clothes: it is surprising how cold you can become when remaining stationary for long periods of time at night, even in summer.
- Don't blind you and others for observations, if you need light, use only red LED lights - maybe a red LED light for a bicycle.
- Bring a precise clock which is not bright
- Take pens and paper to write down your observations, you can also download our template
- Don't forget food and remember, sighting can be fun if you do it with others
Important points for the observation
- Check the weather, especially the satellite images for clouds and the forecast
- If you sight with others, do not speak about your observations, everyone has his own vision, if someone tells that he saw something, others who didn't see something might feel obliged to write the same result.
- Arrive at the place of observation one hour before the expected sighting, especially if you try a new location. Otherwise you might end up driving around trying to find a better place and missing your observation. You also need time to prepare your equipment and eyes.
- If you found a perfect location, use it constantly, like that you can compare your results and develop deeper experience
- Always write! Write down your observations with precise times and your coordinates and the direction of the observation, describe the weather and temperature, you can also draw
I read the above text and I want to report my first observation
This function is still in testing, registration and submitting of your data will be available soon, inshaAllah. Please feel free to do your observations in the meantime.