Islamic Astronomy

Islamic astronomy or Arabic astronomy comprises the astronomical developments made in the Islamic world, particularly during the Islamic Golden Age (8th–15th centuries), and mostly written in the Arabic language. These developments mostly took place in the Middle East, Central Asia, Al-Andalus, and North Africa, and later in the Far East and India. It closely parallels the genesis of other Islamic sciences in its assimilation of foreign material and the amalgamation of the disparate elements of that material to create a science with Islamic characteristics. These included Greek, Sassanid, and Indian works in particular, which were translated and built upon. In turn, Islamic astronomy later had a significant influence on Indian, Byzantine and European astronomy (see Latin translations of the 12th century) as well as Chinese astronomy and Malian astronomy.

A significant number of stars in the sky, such as Aldebaran and Altair, and astronomical terms such as alhidade, azimuth, and almucantar, are still referred to by their Arabic names. A large corpus of literature from Islamic astronomy remains today, numbering approximately 10,000 manuscripts scattered throughout the world, many of which have not been read or catalogued. Even so, a reasonably accurate picture of Islamic activity in the field of astronomy can be reconstructed.

Read more about Islamic AstronomyHistory, Observatories, Instruments

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