Ṣāghānī: Abū Ḥāmid Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Ṣāghānī [al-Ṣaghānī] al-Asṭurlābī
Flourished Ṣāghān (near Merv, Turkmenistan)
DiedBaghdad (Iraq), 990
Al-Ṣāghānī was a mathematician, astronomer, and astrolabe maker. The thirteenth-century biographer Ibn al-Qifṭī reports that al-Ṣāghānī was an expert in geometry and cosmology (ҁilm al-hay’a) and was the inventor and maker of instruments of observation. He had a number of students in Baghdad. He was also one of the outstanding astronomers at the observatory (bayt al-raṣd) built by the order of the Būyid ruler Sharaf al-Dawla (982–989) at the extremity of the garden of the royal palace.
The Sharaf al-Dawla Observatory was the first in the history of Islam to have official status of some kind. According to Ibn al-Qifṭī, its program included the observation of the seven planets. This task was entrusted by Sharaf al-Dawla to Wījan ibn Rustam al-Kūhī, the director (ṣāḥib) of the observatory and the leader of the astronomers working at the institution in 988. One of the project’s achievements was the observation of the...
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