Since the beginning of Islam, there have been debates as to what constitutes moon sighting. Some interpret that there has to be a minion to declare that they have seen it themselves with their own eyes, where some others do not accept the holiday unless they have seen it themselves. In the United States, there is an organization that monitors moon sighting called the Hilal committee. At one time it was acceptable if the moon was sighted elsewhere, but now, each group has to have their own moon sighting.
Politics runs deeply in our communities, be it a temple, synagogue or a church, and mosques are no different. A few scientifically-inclined-Muslims have adopted NASA's calculation, believed to be precise. However, four different traditions are operative concurrently; i) Strictly Calendar, ii) NASA and iii) Sighting with bare eyes and iv) Sighting by others in the community.
The NASA-oriented and the calendar-group misses out the fun, joy and exhilaration of waiting and watching the needle thin moon on the horizon. The whole family gets out on the roof tops, or higher grounds, some even climb electric poles, and a few will drive out where they can see the sky without obstacles, kids would climb up on parent's shoulders, and a few run from place to place shouting in excitement, did you see? It is like the belief in Santa Claus, angels and other myths; each tradition fulfills one's emotional needs and every one becomes sentimental. After all, if celebration does not have the excitement, it is less of a celebration.
In the spirit of Ramadan, I pray that Ramadan gets into our hearts and minds and make us embrace all factions of Muslims without undermining their tradition and further pray that we treat every human on the earth with dignity, respect and care.
That is indeed the wisdom expressed in Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, Surah 49:13: "O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of God, is the best in conduct. God Knows and is Aware of everything you do."