Pontianak – BRIN Public Relations. The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) would this afternoon, Friday (01/04) observe hilal – the new moon – at Kakap Beach, Sungai Kakap District, Kubu Raya Regency, Pontianak to determine the start of Ramadan. The results of this monitoring will later be taken into consideration at the isbat session to be held by the government tonight, Friday, 1 April 2022.

So what need to be prepared by BRIN’s hilal observation team? Coordinator of the Space Observation Center, M. Laode Musafar K. who is preparing the equipment for the event explained the process.

Laode explained that the main tool used for observing new moon is a telescope. “This telescope is a Sky Rover 70 mm F/6 APO PRO Refractor, which was procured in 2017 and is still functioning well,” said Musyafar.

This telescope serves to observe celestial objects from a distance so they can be seen more clearly. Through this telescope, the position of the height of celestial bodies such as the moon can be known to the horizon line.

“Before observations, the telescope must be prepared, ensuring that the tool functions perfectly with high accuracy,” he added.

To operate these binoculars, it takes at least two people with technical skills who understand how the telescope works, from the installation of the tool to its operation. And to be able to read the data from the telescope, you need someone who at least understands astronomy.

First junior associate engineer from the Space Observation Center, Angga Yolanda Putra, explained the preparation stages before making observations. “First is to make sure that the telescope is functioning normally,” said Angga.

Next, install the tripod at the specified point and ensure that its position is not tilted by measuring it using a tool; waterpass, then setting up a mounting to support the telescope during observation.

“The next stage is to set the telescope on the mounting and calibrate it to determine that the position of the sun is in the right position. This stage is the most difficult part and will determine the accuracy of the data obtained,” said Angga.

Junior Associate Engineer from the Space Observation Center, Hadi Rasidi, shared Angga’s opinion, adding that calibration is the key in hilal observation activities. The success of calibrating the sun’s position is strongly influenced by weather factors at the time of observation. When the sun is covered by clouds, it is difficult for the telescope to calibrate the sun’s position.

“So the most important thing is that weather conditions or clouds do not cover the observed object. Even though it is raining at the observation location, calibration can still be done,” said Hadi.

“On the other hand, even though it is not raining at the observation location but the sun is covered by clouds, it will be difficult to make observations,” added Hadi.

Hadi said that under normal conditions, it takes 30 minutes to prepare the telescope, including calibration using manual-based telescope. It is the case when using a digital and fully automatic telescope, it does not take a long time to calibrate.

Hadi hopes that the observation of the new moon this time will run smoothly. “Hopefully the weather today is good and observation can be made well,” he concluded. (pur)