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Friday, September 14, 2007

Astronomy and Islam

Astronomy has been called the "queen of sciences". It incorporates many disciplines such as physics, particularly optics, mathematics and celestial mechanics. Since ancient times, Muslim scientists have studied astronomy, contributing greatly to human knowledge. Yaqub ibn Tariq, al-Kwarizmi, al-Battani, al-Farghani, al-Sufi, al-Biruni, al-Tusi and Omar Khayyam are just a few of the scholars who have left a lasting mark in the annals of astronomy.

On this page there is a collection of useful links, usenet groups, software and other resources related to astronomy, many with an Islamic flavour.

Glasgow Science Centre :Two prominent scientists are set to visit Glasgow next week (20th September 2007) to give an insight into the importance of astronomy in Islam. Dr Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society and Dr Usama Hasan are coming to the city to chart the story of Islamic astronomy in a talk timed to commemorate Ramadhan. The public talk will take place under the stars of Glasgow Science Centre's planetarium.

Dr Massey will use the technology of the planetarium (the facility is one of the best in the world) to demonstrate how different calendar systems from around the globe connect to the Sun, Moon and stars. The thought -provoking talk includes a star show under the star dome- showing just how the Sun changes its position over the course of the year and how the Moon changes its phases every month.

Dr Hasan will explore the Islamic lunar-based calendar (also known as a Hegiran calendar). The Islamic calendar is a *pure lunar calendar - one which has a year which does not follow the seasons. There are 12 lunar months in a year of about 354 days - about 11 days shorter than the solar year, Muslim holy days, although celebrated on set dates in their own calendar, usually occur 11 days earlier each solar year. Dr Hasan will examine just why this is such a crucial issue for contemporary Islam.


About the ScottishPower Planetarium
The ScottishPower Planetarium offers the chance to see a night sky as it should be seen, with thousands of points of light above us. Most city-dwellers have never seen a clear night sky, as light pollution is now a serious problem throughout the Western world. The controlled environment of the ScottishPower Planetarium with its amazing Zeiss Starmaster projector enables us to look afresh at the canopied heavens.

Tickets are £4.95 and available by calling 0871 540 1000

Please note that this event starts with a star show at 7pm, there is then a short break for complimentary refreshments as some members of the audience may be observing Ramadhan.


Contact: Claire Gemson
Phone: 01414205034

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