Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Sulaymān ibn ҁIṣma: Abū Dāwūd Sulaymān ibn ҁIṣma al-Samarqandī

Reference work entry

FlourishedSamarqand, (Uzbekistan), second half of the ninth century

Much of our information on Sulaymān ibn ҁIṣma comes from the remarks of  Bīrūnī. According to Bīrūnī, Sulaymān made observations in Balkh (Afghanistan) in 888–890 for determining the obliquity of the ecliptic. For this purpose, he used a mural quadrant (libna) provided with an alidade, the diameter of the quadrant being about 8 cubits (dhirāҁ), approximately 4 m. He found the meridian solar altitude at the winter solstice to be 29° 46′ and at the summer solstice 76° 54′. From this he determined that the obliquity of the ecliptic was 23° 34′, 1 min less than the result of  Battānī. Bīrūnī also tells us of Sulaymān’s determination of the length of Spring and Summer, and attributes to Sulaymān a zīj (astronomical handbook) dealing with the Sun and Moon (Zīj al-nayyirayn), as well as a book on the construction of an instrument for determining the visibility of the crescent (Qānūn II, p. 654).  Nasawīclaims that Sulaymān...

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Selected References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università di BolognaBolognaItaly