Al-Battani and the Arab astronomy of the Middle Ages

Al-Battani and the Arab astronomy of the Middle Ages

Abu Abdullah Al-Battani, also known as Albategnius, was an Arab astronomer and mathematician of the Middle Ages.

He was born in 858 near Battan, Harran state. He was first educated by his father, also a renowned scientist named Jabir Ibn Sin'an al-Battani. He subsequently traveled to Raqqa to receive higher education.

At the end of the ninth century he moved to Samarra, where he lived and worked the rest of his life. He made many and very important works in astronomy: he corrected orbital calculations performed by Claudio Ptolemy Using trigonometry, he calculated with great precision the duration of the solar year, with only a difference of 2 minutes and 26 seconds with respect to the current measurement and described the inclination of the ecliptic and its relationship with the seasons.

Al-Battani also made excellent observations of the lunar and solar eclipses, discovered the existence of annular solar eclipses and found that the solar apogee - maximum distance between the earth and the Sun - is not constant.

In the field of Mathematics and Trigonometry, he provided very ingenious solutions for some trigonometric problems using orthographic projection methods. He gained great fame with the use of trigonometric relationships that are still in use today and was the first to replace Greek ropes with breasts. He also developed the concept of Cotangente.

He wrote many books on Astronomy and Trigonometry. The most famous of his books on astronomy was "De Scienta Stellarum - De Numeris Stellarum et motibus", used throughout the Middle Ages as a reference and study book. His name was given to a region of the Moon: Albategnius. He died the year 929.

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