Muhammad ibn Jābir al-Harrānī al-Battānī


Muhammad ibn Jābir al-Harrānī al-Battānī

transl|ar|ALA|Abū Abd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Jābir ibn Sinān al-Raqqī al-Ḥarrānī al–Ṣābiʾ al-Battānī (c. 858, Harran – 929, Qasr al-Jiss, near Samarra) Latinized as Albategnius, Albategni or Albatenius was an Arab [ [http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/A/Albategnius.html Albategnius (Al-Battani, Muhammad ibn Jabir) (c. 850-929) ] ] astronomer, astrologer, and mathematician, born in Harran near Urfa, which is now in Turkey. His epithet "as-Sabi" suggests that among his ancestry were members of the Sabian sect who worshipped the stars; however, his full name affirms that he was Muslim. [MacTutor Biography|id=Al-Battani]

Astronomy

One of his best-known achievements in astronomy was the determination of the solar year as being 365 days, 5 hours, 46 minutes and 24 seconds.

Al Battani worked in Syria, at ar-Raqqah and at Damascus, where he died. He was able to correct some of Ptolemy's results and compiled new tables of the Sun and Moon, long accepted as authoritative, discovered the movement of the Sun's apogee, treats the division of the celestial sphere, and introduces, probably independently of the 5th century Indian astronomer Aryabhata, the use of sines in calculation, and partially that of tangents, forming the basis of modern trigonometry. He also calculated the values for the precession of the equinoxes (54.5" per year, or 1° in 66 years) and the inclination of Earth's axis (23° 35'). He used a uniform rate for precession in his tables, choosing not to adopt the theory of trepidation attributed to his colleague Thabit ibn Qurra.

His most important work is his zij, or set of astronomical tables, known as "transl|ar|ALA|al-Zīj al-Sābī" with 57 chapters, which by way of Latin translation as "De Motu Stellarum" by Plato Tiburtinus (Plato of Tivoli) in 1116 (printed 1537 by Melanchthon, annotated by Regiomontanus), had great influence on European astronomy. The zij is based on Ptolemy's theory, showing little Indian influence. [E. S. Kennedy, "A Survey of Islamic Astronomical Tables," (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Series, 46, 2), Philadelphia, 1956, pp. 10-11, 32-34.] A reprint appeared at Bologna in 1645. Plato's original manuscript is preserved at the Vatican; and the Escorial Library possesses in manuscript a treatise by Al Battani on astronomical chronology.

During his observations for his improved tables of the Sun and the Moon, he discovered that the direction of the Sun's eccentric was changing, which in modern astronomy is equivalent to the Earth moving in an elliptical orbit around the Sun. [C. Singer (1959), "A Short History of Scientific Ideas", p. 151, Oxford University Press (cf. Salah Zaimeche (2002), [http://www.muslimheritage.com/topics/default.cfm?ArticleID=235 Muslim Observatories] , FSTC)] His times for the new moon, lengths for the solar year and sidereal year, prediction of eclipses, and work on the phenomenon of parallax, carried astronomers "to the verge of relativity and the space age." [G. M. Wickens, "The Middle East as a world Centre of science and medicine", in R. M. Savory, "Introduction to Islamic Civilization", pp. 111-118, Cambridge University Press (cf. Salah Zaimeche (2002), [http://www.muslimheritage.com/topics/default.cfm?ArticleID=235 Muslim Observatories] , FSTC)]

Copernicus mentioned his indebtedness to Al-Battani and quoted him, in the book that initiated the Copernican Revolution, the "De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium".

Mathematics

In mathematics, Battānī produced a number of trigonometrical relationships:

:: an a = frac{sin a}{cos a}

::sec a = sqrt{1 + an^2 a }

He also solved the equation sin "x" = "a" cos "x" discovering the formula:

::sin x = frac{a}{sqrt{1 + a^2

He also used al-Marwazi's idea of tangents ("shadows") to develop equations for calculating tangents and cotangents, compiling tables of them. He also discovered the inverse trigonometric functions secant and cosecant, and produced the first table of cosecants, which he referred to as a "table of shadows" (in reference to the shadow of a gnomon), for each degree from 1° to 90°.cite web|title=trigonometry|url=http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/605281/trigonometry|publisher="Encyclopædia Britannica"|accessdate=2008-07-21]

Honors

* The Albategnius crater on the Moon was named after him.
* In the fictional Star Trek universe, the Excelsior-class starship "USS Al-Batani " [sic] " NCC-42995", mentioned on "" as Kathryn Janeway's first deep space assignment, was named for him.

ee also

*List of Arab scientists and scholars
*zij

Notes

External links

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