Eid al-Fitr could begin on Saturday as the Shawwal moon is expected to be visible by the naked eye on Friday evening and not Thursday, according to astronomers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Al Arabiya reported.
Technically, the moon will appear in the sky on Thursday evening, but it will not be illuminated by the sun’s rays and will be difficult to see without specialist equipment, Majid Abu Zahra from the Jeddah Astronomical Society said.
The moon will be “very easy to see with the naked eye if the sky is clear,” on Friday night, Abu Zahra added, as reported by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
However, officials could still declare Friday as the start of Eid if eyewitness sightings of the moon on Thursday are accepted.
Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court had previously called on people in the Kingdom to try to spot the moon signifying the end of Ramadan on Thursday evening.