Ulugbek Observatory

Ulugbek Observatory, Samarkand

On the northern outskirts of Samarkand from the time of immemorial is the hill Kuhak. So it was a simple hill, if in 1908 it was not investigated by archaeologist V. Vyatkin, who studied some of the documents of XVII century. There was found Ulugbek Observatory - the largest astronomical facility of the Middle Ages. And in 1948, during the long excavation, it was dug out completely, to its foundation.
Built in 1420-1428, respectively, the observatory Ulugbek had huge dimensions at the time. The cylindrical structure of height 30 and a diameter of 46 meters is a deep trench arc, where the sextant was placed (or perhaps quadrant). Doug has two marble walls, which bear the mark of degrees and minutes. In addition to the observatory there were other astronomical instruments, which are not preserved, and on the roof there may have been undertaken azimuthal measurements.
Observatory Project was designed not by architects but by Ulugbek and his mentor, the great mathematician Kazi-zade Rumi. The building was built for 3 years and another year was spent on the installation and calibration of instruments.
Since its inception, there have been many scholarly works: it was compiled Gurgansky Zij - catalog of starry sky with a description of 1018 stars, the length of Earth by years was determined - 365 days, 6 hours and 10 minutes, 8 seconds (with an accuracy of + 58 seconds). Such precision was exceeded only after 500 years, at the beginning of XX century.
Phenomenal performance was achieved thanks to the work of outstanding scientists of the East, who dedicated thier life to the development of mathematics and astronomy. Among them, it worth noting, are Dzhemshid Kashi, Kazi-zade Rumi and Ali Kushchi, which at one time headed the observatory. Following the death of Ulugbek it continued to exist and was abandoned only in 1469 when the country there began a crackdown against the scientists.
But the works of scientists of observatory were not lost, and were published first in Turkey and then in Europe, and remained unsurpassed for centuries. No wonder Ulugbek portrayed in medieval engravings on the right hand of the queen of heaven, Urania.
To date, the observatory Ulugbek temporarily closed due to ongoing reconstruction.



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