Al-Battani (858-929)

An Amazing Astronomer




Al-Battānī was  an Arab astronomer, astrologer and mathematician. He is considered an important astronomer and mathematician of the Islamic Golden Age.

His discoveries  were often quoted by medieval European astronomers; including by Copernicus. He was from Harran. His full name was Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Jābir ibn Sinān al-Raqqī al-Ḥarrānī al-Ṣābiʾ al-Battānī.

Al-Battani helped to calculate the distance between the Earth and the Sun, before telescopes. This allowed him to calculate the length of the year. How amazing is that?

He is most famous for his book the Kitāb az-Zīj (or the Zij). The Zij was a book with 57 chapters dedicated to astronomy. He influenced the works of Copernicus, Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe, who were famous astronomers of later times. The book was translated many times into many different languages.

Al-Battani also made a map of the stars, naming a few of them.

Would you like to use maths in the career that you eventually decide upon?

Imagine what it must be like to be an astronomer.