1550-1900 ASTRONOMY

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Taqi ad-Din built an observatory near Istanbul, and built a 90 degree quadrant into a wall, which is called a mural quadrant.
He wrote about a telescope using two lense he had copied from a Greek design. Taqi ad-Din did not claim he ever used this telescope to look at the sky,.
He observed a comet, interpreting it as a good omen.  Soon afterwards the Ottoman army was sickened with  the plague. As a result the highest Sunni religious authority of the Ottoman Empire ordered the destruction of Taqi ad-Din’s observatory, and ordered that only religious authorities would be permitted to operate astronomical observatories.

Mohammed al-Rudani combined astrology and astronomy by painting a globe with the outlines of the myths of the constellations, and surrounding it with a framework.

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taqi_al_din

artist’s conception of late 16th century- observatory in Istanbul

OBSERVATORY
Taqi ad-Din (also spelled Taqi al-Din, 1526 – 1585) completed in 1577 an observatory near Istanbul. In the illustration above, notice the man holding an astrolabe for astronomy (not an open frame astrolabe used aboard a ship) at the top right. Below and to the left of him is a sandglass that looks similar to a nautical sandglass for measuring time. Far to the left of the sandglass, a man is using a compass to draw something. Still further to the left is a man holding what may be a device for adding the location of stars to a star map painted on the wall. Below him is likely a hollow viewing tube (no lens) mounted on a tripod. Information about the angle at which the viewing tube is pointed when observing a star is probably added to the wall map. Below the tripod, at the bottom left, are scribes with pens and ink. At the bottom center is probably a globe of an Muslim Ottoman Empire map of the Earth (showing Europe, the Mediterranean Sea and the northern coast of Africa) rather than a celestial sphere on which would have been plotted the locations of stars and the 12 zodiacal constellations of astrology.

Taqi ad-Din built a 90 degree quadrant into a wall, which is called a mural quadrant.

CLOCK IN AN OBSERVATORY
Taqi al-Din completed in 1577 an observatory near Istanbul that contained a “mechanical clock”. I assume it was a Pseudo-Archimedes water clock for measuring the time interval between the sightings of two stars. If the sightings were less than 8 minutes apart from each other, and assuming the water clock had an accuracy of plus or minus one percent, the water clock would have had an error of only plus or minus a twelfth of a minute in measuring the time interval.
His tables of the time intervals of sigbtings of all the visible stars was slightly more accurate than the tables that had been produced by Ptolemy.

ASTROLOGY GLOBE
Mohammed al-Rudani
(1627 – 1683) combined astrology and astronomy by painting a globe with the outlines of the myths of the constellations, and surrounding it with a framework (which he did not invent) for reading the coordinates of a star in the sky.


WHO INVENTED THE TELESCOPE?
In 1574 Taqi ad-Din (Taqi ad-Din Muhammad ibn Ma’ruf, sometimes spelled Taqi al-Din, 1526 – 1585) wrote about a telescope using two lense that could magnify distant objects and make them appear to be close. Taqi ad-Din did not claim to have invented this device, instead writing he had copied a Greek design used at the tower in Alexandria. [I presume Taqi ad-Din built his device by copying a description he had read in a Greek book.]

Taqi ad-Din did not claim he ever used this telescope to look at the sky, not even the moon.


Source of this telescope information is a
muslimheritage.com article by Hüseyin Gazi Topdemir, quoting from Taqī al-Dīn, Kitāb Nūr, Book III, Chapter 5, MS ‘O’, folio no: 81b; MS ‘S’, folio no: 72a.

In 1577 Taqi ad-Din completed his observatory, but there is no mention of any of his instruments there containing any lenses.

Encyclopedias incorrectly state that the earliest known working telescopes appeared in 1608 in the Netherlands and are credited to Hans Lippershey. It is not known whether or not Hans Lippershey knew about Taqī al-Dīn’a telescope.

In 1611, Johannes Kepler used a telescope to look at the sky.

DESTRUCTION OF OBSERVATORY

Taqi ad-Din observed a comet, interpreting it as an omen that now would be a good time for the Muslim Ottoman army to attack the enemy. When the victorious Ottoman army returned, the plague spread with them.

After the astronomers were blamed for the outbreak of the plague, the ruler of the Ottoman Empire decided to drop his support for the astronomers.

In 1580 the highest Sunni religious authority of the Ottoman Empire ordered the destruction of the observatory in Istanbul run by Taqi ad-Din
After that, only religious authorities were permitted to operate astronomical observatories.

ASTROLOGY GLOBE
Mohammed al-Rudani
(1627 – 1683) combined astrology and astronomy by painting a globe with the outlines of the myths of the constellations, and surrounding it with a framework (which he did not invent) for reading the coordinates of a star in the sky.




Image by Ala ad-Din Mansur-Shirazi, via Wikimedia Commons.
image credit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Taqi_al_din.jpg

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