Today’s Google Doodle
Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi’s birthday
December 7, 903
Originally shared by Doodle Finder
Abd al-Rahman Al-Sufi’s (Azophi) 1113th Birthday
7th December 2016 @ Google in 15 countries (see below)
Abd al-Rahman Al-Sufi forever changed the way we look at the stars in the sky. As one of the world’s most influential astronomers, he dedicated his life to furthering our understanding of the stars and constellations. The lunar crater „Azophi” and the minor planet „12621 Alsufi” are named after him.
One of Al-Sufi’s greatest works involved fact-checking the Greek astronomer Ptolemy’s measurements of the brightness and size of stars. In the year 964 AD, Al-Sufi published his findings in a book titled Kitab al-Kawatib al-Thabit al-Musawwar, or The Book of Fixed Stars. In many cases, he confirmed Ptolemy’s discoveries, but he also improved upon his work by illustrating the constellations and correcting some of Ptolemy’s observations about the brightness of stars.
Today’s Doodle celebrates Al-Sufi on what would be his 1,113th birthday with a representation of the constellation Cancer, also known as “the crab.” The artwork closely mirrors what appeared in Al-Sufi’s manuscript, The Book of Fixed Stars.The words around the crabs indicate the cardinal directions of North, South, East, and West, with the smaller labels providing additional assistance in viewing the constellations.
More than a millennium later, Al-Sufi’s keen observations and detailed work still informs our view of the night sky.
Country list: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates
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