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Astronomy and Astrology in Islamic Art

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Mariah Rigsby

on 24 January 2013

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Transcript of Astronomy and Astrology in Islamic Art

Created by: Mariah Rigsby Astronomy and Astrology in Ancient Islam Early Islamic Astronomical Ideas Discovery of the Milky Way Relation of Islamic Astronomy to the European Dark Ages Astronomy in Art More About the Astrolabe Connection between
Astronomy and Art Accuracy in Astronomical Advances Early astronomers in Asia established the idea that the earth revolved around the sun. Astronomers in the Islamic areas doubted that the earth really did revolve around the sun, they believed that if that were true, astronomers should see a parallax from the earth's motion relative to the stars. That could not be seen by the naked eye, and there was no way to magnify the night sky in 700 AD. Therefore, they believed that either the earth didn't go around the sun, or the stars were so far away that the parallax was too small to see. Al Tusi, an Islamic astronomer, discovered the Milky Way in 1200 AD. He believed the stars in the galexy were very small, because it was an established idea that the stars were all very far away. Tusi writes about his findings: "The Milky Way, i.e. the galaxy, is made up of a very large number of small, tightly-clustered stars, which, on account of their concentration and smallness, seem to be cloudy patches. because of this, it was likend to milk in color." Between 700 AD and 1300 AD, the majority of Europe was trapped in the dark ages. Religion had taken a precedence over science, and most astronomical advances fell into the hands of the Muslims. Astronomy and the study of the stars did not seriously begin again in Europe until the Renaissance. While the Astrolabe was developed in Greece, the earliest preserved model comes from the Islamic period in 927 AD. Using the device, you could rotate a pin around the center and recreate the daily star patterns. Al Sufi, one of the most famous Muslim Astronomers wrote about over 1,000 uses for an astrolabe, but the fundamental use was for mapping the movement of the stars over time. It was made up of exactly four parts, the mater, rete, plates, and alidade. Each was used to tell the time from the sun or stars. First, you select the plate appropriate to the latitude, connect the star to the altitude specified on the plate, find the star on the rete, and rotate the rete until it lines up with the altitude on the plate, attach the rule until it lines up with rete and the plate, and the time will be shown on the scale along the rim of the meter. Basin with Zodiac signs and royal titles, from the early 14th century. It was made of brass and inlaid and engraved with silver with a black compound. Geometric designs made up most of the art in the Islamic world. This was inspired by mathematicians and astronomers. They combined circles and squares, interlaced and arranged them into intricate combinations that strictly follow the rules of geometry. Not only did they decorate based on mathematics and inspired by Astronomers, the Astronomers themselves painted their depictions of the stars. The Islamic architecture of observatories was beautiful throughout the Middle East. "The accuracy of medieval Islamic observatories and astronomical instruments was remarkable. In fact, the calculations of famous observatories in Samarqand (in present-day Uzbekistan) and Maragha (in present-day Iran) differ from contemporary calculations by only a fraction of a percent," stated the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Their observatories were state of the art, and were used long into the future of their construction dates. Islamic discoveries in the field of Astronomy and the advances they made are revered to this day by most great scientists of the stars. An early Islamic painting demonstrating observing astronomers of the time. A painted image of the astronomer Al Tusi. A depiction of the observatory Al Tusi used in his studies of the stars. An astrolabe found to be from 1291 AD in Yemen and made out of brass and inlaid with silver. Remains of the Jaipur observatory in India. Observations were made with the naked eye on the top of the structure. A celestial globe designed in Persia in 1362, it shows a view of the stars from outside the universe. It was used for teaching purposes, from Astronomers to astronomical students. The drawing of a sundial and its calculations by Taqi al-Din, said to be from the early 13th century. The "Drawing of Deferments" by Al-Biruni, one of the most accomplished scientists of the entire middle ages. He lived between 970 and 1030 AD. This demonstrates the geometric patterns used in Islamic artwork. A variety of shapes and figures are used, from stars to overlapping circles. The rete of an astrolabe. The plate of an astrolabe. Lacquer painting on cardboard with the constellation “Sagittarius” found in Iran. Constellations and symbolic depictions of the planets were already found in Islamic art under the first caliphs, but were especially widespread from the end of the 12th century to the early 14th. Constellations and symbolic depictions of the planets were widespread from the end of the 12th century to the early 14th. The Muslims incorporated signs of the zodiac into their artworks, usually depicting the animals represented as mythical creatures.
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