Archive for History of Exact Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 4, pp 343–362 | Cite as

Solar and lunar observations at Istanbul in the 1570s

  • S. Mohammad Mozaffari
  • John M. Steele


From the early ninth century until about eight centuries later, the Middle East witnessed a series of both simple and systematic astronomical observations for the purpose of testing contemporary astronomical tables and deriving the fundamental solar, lunar, and planetary parameters. Of them, the extensive observations of lunar eclipses available before 1000 AD for testing the ephemeredes computed from the astronomical tables are in a relatively sharp contrast to the twelve lunar observations that are pertained to the four extant accounts of the measurements of the basic parameters of Ptolemaic lunar model. The last of them are Taqī al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Ma‘rūf’s (1526–1585) trio of lunar eclipses observed from Istanbul, Cairo, and Thessalonica in 1576–1577 and documented in chapter 2 of book 5 of his famous work, Sidrat muntaha al-afkar fī malakūt al-falak al-dawwār (The Lotus Tree in the Seventh Heaven of Reflection). In this article, we provide a detailed analysis of the accuracy of his solar (1577–1579) and lunar observations.


Lunar Eclipse Vernal Equinox Islamic Period Meridian Passage Lunar Disc 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We owe a debt of gratitude to Benno Van Dalen (Germany), Julio Samsó (Spain), and F. Richard Stephenson (England) for their kind help.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics of MaraghaMaraghaIran
  2. 2.Department of Egyptology and AssyriologyBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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