Where are the Arab Telescopes and what happened to Arab astronomy?

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Where are the Arab Telescopes and what happened to Arab astronomy?

Post by rwo power on Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:10 am

I recently read an article about the newly projected FAST in China, the amazing "Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope" that is projected to be finished in September 2016 and will become the world's largest radio telescope, dwarfing even the 300 metres Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

Browsing through the world of radio astronomy, I read up about the contributors of ALMA (US, Canada, Europe, East Asia), the projected James Webb Space Telescope which will be operated by the US, Canada and Europe. When I went through the list of radio telescopes in the world, I found a lot of projects by the USofA, Europe/Russia, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Chile, Brazil etc - but I found a glaring absence of any Arab country.

As the Arabian science of the middle ages was light years ahead of Western science of that time, especially in the areas of medicine, astronomy and many others - mind you, a huge number of stars are still known be their Arabian names, and even the names of sciences stem from Arabian roots (algorithmus, chemistry, the ciphres themselves etc)! - I wondered what happened there?

With the wealth of the Gulf countries, they should have ample resources to set up telescopes and the like themselves; they even have deserts with up do 300 days of clear sky per year and mountains over 2500-3000 metres - but there is virtually nothing!

Could someone here mayhap shed some light for me on the question why Arab astronomy has virtually vanished?

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Re: Where are the Arab Telescopes and what happened to Arab astronomy?

Post by ES on Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:03 pm

Qatar has a team of scientist led by a Qatari, based in Mexico i believe, to search for Earth like planets. They discovered one in 2010 Source

UAE has a Mars mission coming up



Other countries i'm unaware of or they either aren't concerned with this stuff, you have to take into account that in the case of Qatar they are rapidly developing at a fast pace, its basically where UAE was 15 years ago, most of the country's efforts are pooled around that development (roads, infrastructure, underground train, etc)

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Re: Where are the Arab Telescopes and what happened to Arab astronomy?

Post by rwo power on Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:15 pm

Thanks for that info! It seems this Emirates Mars Mission is pretty new, so the VAE people obviously noticed only recently that they have missed out on their great astronomical legacy for quite a while. ^^

I'm curious where they will launch the probe - they want to build it all in the Emirates, but they need an appropriate location to get it off the planet. My guess would be that they use the CSG in Kourou as I found out that they want to cooperate with the French CNES.

- Emirates Mars Mission: http://www.emiratesmarsmission.ae
- http://www.thenational.ae/uae/science/uae-and-france-join-hands-on-space

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Re: Where are the Arab Telescopes and what happened to Arab astronomy?

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