Unknown Islamic Astronomy: The Roots of Modern Science

The impact of medieval Islamic astronomy on today's science

One of astronomy's most revolutionary discoveries is the heliocentric theory, which stated the sun was at the center of the universe. But it has been recently found that this hypothesis by Nicolaus Copernicus was greatly influenced by Islamic astronomy. In fact, many names of the stars are Arabic. Further developing the science from Ancient Greece, Islamic scientists accurately measured the positions of the sun and stars to determine the direction of the holy city of Mecca. With their high expertise, they succeeded to observe the galaxy for the first time in the world, and eventually established their own astronomy, which rose to prominence in the 9th to 15th centuries. This episode looks at the contributions of the sophisticated yet little known Islamic astronomy and charts its journey to Europe.