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Investigation Of Twilight Using Sky Quality

Meter For Isha’ Prayer Time
INTRODUCTION
Early studies done by astronomers such as IbnMu
c
ādh, al-Bīrūnī, al-Qāyinī,
IbnYūnus etc. [1, 2]. Ibn al-Shātir adopted various value for each prayer times
such as 17
o
for Isha’ due to their asymmetry property [3]. There are many
efforts made on sky twilight measurement using a photometer and a CCD
camera, yet they are not specific on prayer times determination [4-6]. In this
paper, we show that elusive light can be detected i.e. shafaq al-abyaḍ [7]. The
elusive light is detected when Sun dip below horizon. The important of
knowing angle of elusive light solely for determination of two prayer times i.e.
Isha’ and Subh. Based on that, we investigated Isha’ prayer time using Sky
Quality Meter (SQM).
INSTRUMENTATION PERFORMANCE
In order to understand the measurements, it was tested and characterized by
checking the acceptance angle, linearity and spectral responsivity [8] by running
photoelectric effects experiments [7]. A trough is formed on the graph as
evidence of SQM characteristic to behave when certain colours (wavelength)
strike on its sensor. Both values have a high correlation and clearly when twilight
colours (lower wavelength colours) hit the sensor, it consistently gives high
readings – see FIGURE 1. The obtained response curve of SQM multiplying the
spectral responsivity of the TAOS TSL237 photodiode by the transmittance of the
Hoya CM-500 filter.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURES
The brightness of twilight sky observations were carried out from May 2007
until April 2008 intermittently in accordance of photometric night. We
choose two (2) sites in Malaysia with certain qualities, 1) best obstruction-
free horizon and 2) the least light-pollution surrounding. It was carried out in
the city peripheral of Kuala Lipis (Pahang) and Port Klang (Selangor). We took
appropriate measure for every phase i.e. pre-observation, observation and
post-observation [7]. The measurements were covered between 400-700 nm
in accordance of human eyes and SQM range. Data were taken in two
minutes interval.
RESULT AND DISCUSSION
For Isha’, receipt of light is measured in terms of increase in magnitude values
(decreasing of light). By plotting the magnitude values against time, a
characteristic growth curve can be observed. The curve is divided into three
(3) phases. The first phase is slow growth which means there was still bright
light even the Sun just set. In the second phase shows a minimum of two
gradual acclivities is increase at the certain rate. The gradual acclivity
demonstrates receipt of light when the Sun is at certain degrees below
horizon (6
o
and 12
o
). The third stage is the stationary phase when growth
stops and no increase in magnitude values for a period of time and this prove
the beginning of Isha’ is indicated by a formed plateau – see FIGURE 2 –
FIGURE 3.
CONCLUSION
From the evidence, SQM is able to assist the process of determining the
beginning of Isha’. It is plausible that the value of twilight angle is fluctuating
between for Isha’ according what is given by the instrument.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors wish to thank IPPP of University of Malaya for financial
assistance.
REFERENCES
1. King, D.A., Call of the Muezzin: (Studies I-IX). 2004, Leiden: E.J. Brill.
2. King, D.A., In Synchrony with the Heavens, Studies in Astronomical Timekeeping and
Instrumentation in Medieval Islamic Civilization. Vol. 2. 2005, Leiden: E.J. Brill.
3. Goldstein, B.R., Theory and Observation in Ancient and Medieval Astronomy. 1985, London
Variorum.
4. Chiplonkar, M.W. and P.V.L. Kulkarni, Seasonal Variation of Twilight Intensity. Czechoslovak
Academy of Science, 1959. 10.
5. Ugolnikov, O.S., O.V. Postylyakov, and I.A. Maslov, Effects of Multiple Scattering and Atmospheric
Aerosol on the Polarization of the Twilight. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy & Radiative Transfer,
2004. 88.
6. Tyson, N.D. and R.R. Gal, An Exposure Guide for Taking Twilight Flatfields with Large Format CCDs.
The Astronomical Journal, 1993. 105(3).
7. Shariff, N.N.M., Sky Brightness at Twilight: Detectors Comparison between Human Eyes and
Electronic Device For Isha' and Subh from Islamic and Astronomical Considerations, in Science and
Technology Studies. 2008, University of Malaya: Kuala Lumpur.
8. Cinzano, P., Night Sky Photometry with Sky Quality Meter, in ISTIL Internal Report. 2005, ISTIL
(Instituto di Scienza e Tecnologia dell'Inquinamento Luminoso): Italy.

SQM/Altitude of Sun vs Time
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
5
10
15
20
25
1
9
:1
0
1
9
:1
4
1
9
:2
0
1
9
:2
4
1
9
:3
2
1
9
:3
8
1
9
:4
6
1
9
:5
0
1
9
:5
4
1
9
:5
8
2
0
:0
2
2
0
:0
6
2
0
:1
0
2
0
:1
4
2
0
:1
8
2
0
:2
2
2
0
:2
6
2
0
:3
0
2
0
:3
4
2
0
:3
8
Time
S
Q
M
/
A
l t i t u
d
e
o
f S
u
n
SQM Altitude of Sun
Plateau
SQM: 20:28
Official time of
Maghrib : 19:13
Official time of
cIsha' : 20:28
Appearance of shafaq
al-abyad: 20:20
SQM/Altitude of Sun vs Time
-30
-25
-20
-15
-10
-5
0
5
10
15
20
25
1
9
:1
0
1
9
:1
4
1
9
:2
2
1
9
:2
6
1
9
:3
0
1
9
:3
4
1
9
:3
8
1
9
:4
4
1
9
:4
8
1
9
:5
2
1
9
:5
8
2
0
:0
2
2
0
:0
6
2
0
:1
0
2
0
:1
4
2
0
:1
8
2
0
:2
2
2
0
:2
6
2
0
:3
2
2
0
:3
6
2
0
:4
0
2
0
:4
6
2
0
:5
0
2
0
:5
4
2
0
:5
8
Time
S
Q
M
/
A
l t i t u
d
e
o
f S
u
n
SQM Altitude of Sun
Official time of
Maghrib : 19:25
Official time of
cIsha' : 20:34
Plateau
SQM: 20:26
Disappearance of shafaq
al-abyad: 20:31
1st Phase
2nd Phase 3rd Phase
Project Leader: NUR NAFHATUN BINTI MD SHARIFF
Members:
• DR AMRAN MUHAMMAD, Dept. of Science &
Technology Studies, Fac. Of Science, UM
• PROF DR MOHD ZAMBRI ZAINUDDIN, Dept. of
Physics, Fac. Of Science, UM
• ZETY SHARIZAT BINTI HAMIDI, Dept. of Physics,
Fac. Of Science, UM
• PROF DR ZAINOL ABIDIN IBRAHIM, Dept. of
Physics, Fac. Of Science, UM
Contact:
NUR NAFHATUN BINTI MD SHARIFF
DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
STUDIES, FACULTY OF SCIENCE,
UNIVERSITI MALAYA, 50603 KUALA LUMPUR
nur.nafhatun.ms@gmail.com
Tel: 019-9634378
BINOCULAR
THERMO-HYGRO METER
FINDERSCOPE
TRIPOD
COMPASS
BAROMETER
CAMERA
DETECTOR: EYE
DETECTOR: SQM
FIGURE 1. Spectral Response of SQM

FIGURE 2. Isha’ at Kuala Lipis, 29 December 2007

FIGURE 3. Isha’ at Port Klang, 5 April 2008

Abstract. In this investigation, we focused on optical sky brightness at dusk from May 2007 through April 2008 intermittently. The measurements of twilight sky
brightness were covered at two (2) different sites covering East and West coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The measurements were done using Sky Quality Meter.
Results showed that there are clear indications of changes of the receipt of light when Sun at certain degree below horizon that visible by plateau form in twilight
sky brightness dependences versus solar zenith angle. It is clarified that the yearly averages of solar depression by observation are best correlated within the
range of 17.3
o
– 19.5
o
for Isha’.

Keywords: Twilight, Prayer Time, Islamic, Scientific, Malaysia

N.N.M. Shariff, A. Muhammad, M.Z. Zainuddin, Z.S. Hamidi, Z.A. Ibrahim


7th MPSGC