Observatory of Ulugbek
Historical and architectural monuments of Samarkand

The largest observatory in Central Asia was built in the 1420's by Ulugbeg. Here, for three decades, scholars, including the outstanding astronomers Qazi-Zadeh Rumi, Djemsnid Giyas ad-Din Kashi and Ali Kushchi, performed measurements of celestial movements.

The Samarkand observatory became famous for the edition of the "Ulugbeg Zidj", containing a theoretical introduction and charts describing 1,018 stars. The observatory was found by Samarkand archeologist V. L. Vyatkin at the beginning of the 20th century. He excavated the underground remains of a huge quadrant 40 m in radius which was used for the observation of the Sun, Moon and other celestial bodies.

Ulugbek Observatory is decorated with beautiful engravings from a 17th century Dutch artist, with the inscription over the image of Ulugbek "I have presented my case seriously" - where Ulugbek stands on the right arm of the goddess of astronomy, Urania.


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