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Islam’s contributions to astronomy

Islam, the Prophet and Caliphs has always promoted the development of scientific mind-set as well as sponsored the talent for inventions/discoveries in the fields of Astronomy, Architect, Maritime, Meteorology etc. Much before Nicolaus Copernicus’s (16th Century) proposing sun as centre of cosmos, many Muslim Astronomers/ Mathematicians had opened several scientific pathways. Nasir-al-Din-al-Tusi, the Supervisor of Maragha observatory, Persia, (13th Century), invented a method of two circular motions to produce a straight line. The observatory was also credited for the famous Syrian astronomer, Muayyad-al-Din-al-Urdi, who developed many instruments, planetarium designs and a device to solve equant problem.

Another astronomer, Ala-al-Din-Shatir, introduced a new mathematical models for deciding combination-circles of moon and mercury, besides determining the timing of religious events at the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria. Ali-al-Qushji, the astronomer from Samarkand, introduced a system determining the structure of the cosmos, besides postulating earth’s rotation on its axis. Inventions by Islamic scientists had attracted European scientists who visited Islamic world from Byzantium/Constantinople and used their postulations/hypotheses theories for modern astronomical principles/gadgets.

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