Tag: Observatories


The Orbital Elements of Venus in Medieval Islamic Astronomy: Interaction Between Traditions and the Accuracy of Observations

by S. Mohammad Mozaffari Published on: 23rd November 2020

The orbital elements of each planet are the eccentricity and the direction of the apsidal line of its orbit defined by the ecliptic longitude of either of its apses, i.e., the two points on its…


The Observational Instruments at the Maragha Observatory after AD 1300

by S. Mohammad Mozaffari Published on: 5th November 2020

The present paper introduces, investigates, analyses, and comments on an anonymous treatise in Persian named al-Risāla al-Ghāzāniyya fi ’l-ālāt al-raṣadiyya, “Ghāzān’s (or Ghāzānid) treatise on the observational instruments”, which describes the structure, construction, and functions…


Astronomy as a global science: The case of Islamic astronomy

by Rudiger Lohlker Published on: 9th August 2020

This short article was written by Professor Rudiger Lohlker in response to our invitation to summarise and bring attention to his paper “Global History: Understanding Islamic Astronomy” published in ACTA VIA SERICA, Vol. 4, No.…

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Memory and Erasure in the Story of the West: Or, Where have All the Muslims Gone?

by Glen M. Cooper Published on: 3rd August 2020

This a transcript of a lecture delivered on November 13, 2018 at the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, Brighton Young University, Provo, UT 84602, United States.


Islamic Astronomy from “Star Wars” to Star Tables

by Glen M. Cooper Published on: 10th November 2017

The most obvious difference between modern and Islamic astronomy is that the latter is primarily mathematical and predictive, and the former has other observational goals, such as describing the physics of other worlds.


Star-finders Astrolabes

by Cem Nizamoglu Published on: 7th September 2017

Over a thousand-year period in Muslim Civilisation, epoch-making discoveries and contributions, such as the first record of a star system outside our own galaxy were made. Also astronomical instruments including celestial globes, armillary spheres, sextants…


Ulugh Beg

by The Editorial Team Published on: 7th April 2013

Ulugh Beg was a Timurid ruler as well as an astronomer, mathematician. His primary interest was in the sciences and intellectual matters. He built an observatory at Samarkand. In his observations he discovered a number…


The Instruments of Istanbul Observatory

by Sevim Tekeli Published on: 8th June 2008

In this article, Professor Sevim Tekeli, an outstanding scholar in the history of Ottoman science, describes the instruments built by Taqî al-Dîn Ibn Ma'ruf and his team at the Istanbul observatory (was in activity between…


The Observation Well

by Aydin Sayili Published on: 7th June 2008

Observation wells received much historical interest relating to observatories. In this article Prof. Aydin Sayili describes the history of "observation wells" both in Islamic and European worlds.


Arabic Eclipse Records Bring Light to Scientific Analysis of the Earth’s Rotation

by FSTC Published on: 18th February 2008

A total eclipse of the Moon occurs during the night of Wednesday, February 20/21, 2008. The entire event is visible from large parts of our globe. On this occasion, we attract the attention of our…


A Treasure of World Heritage: Islamic Manuscripts in the Kandilli Observatory

by FSTC Published on: 2nd November 2007

This is a review of a book bringing to light a collection of about 1300 Islamic scientific manuscripts on astronomy and various scientific topics in three languages (Turkish, Arabic and Persian). These manuscripts are held…


Astronomical Instruments of Tycho Brahe and Taqi al-Din

by FSTC Published on: 26th April 2005

Tycho Brahe "was a brilliant astronomer and scientist of his time, and has had a big significance on the development of astronomy, science in general, and our view of the world" has been influenced by…


Observatories In Islam

by Aydin Sayili Published on: 2nd March 2005

The observatory as an organised and state sponsored activity began with in the Islamic world. Much progress was made in this area, particularly in eastern parts of the Islamic world.


The Scholars of Samarkand

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 2nd March 2005

Samarkand contributed in particular to the progress of science in astronomy through its observatory. Some of its directors and their achievements are highlighted here.


The Samarqand Observatory

by FSTC Published on: 20th December 2002

The observatory of Samarqand dates from 1424AD and was a `monumental' building equipped with a huge meridian, made of masonry, a ‘Fakhri sextant’, of a radius of 40.4 metres. It was built By Uluh Beg…


The Legacy of Ulugh Beg

by FSTC Published on: 27th December 2001

Kevin Krisciunas writes on The Legacy of Ulugh Beg. Although he recognising the crucial role of Islamic observation, he still finds sources of disagreement with the notion that the Samarqand observatory exerted decisive influence on…


The impact of Al-Battani on European Astronomy

by FSTC Published on: 27th December 2001

Al-Battani used the widest variety of instruments: astrolabes, tubes, a gnomon divided into twelve parts, a celestial globe with five armillaries, parallax rules, a mural quadrant, sundials, vertical as well as horizontal.

The Muslim Pioneers of Astronomy

by FSTC Published on: 27th December 2001

Most eminent Muslim astronomers include Al-Battani, al-Sufi, al-Biruni, and Ibn Yunus. They recorded the position of the sun, moon and the stars.


Astronomical Observatories in the Classical Islamic Culture

by Salah Zaimeche Published on: 27th December 2001

The modern astronomical observatory as a research institute (as opposed to a private observation post as was the case in ancient times) is a creation of the Islamic scientific tradition. Since the early 9th century,…