The Muslim West
Science and Knowledge
Scientific technology: the astrolabe
The fundamental purpose of astronomy was to predict the position of planets using empirical data. Muslim astronomers developed an instrument specifically to observe the height, movement and position of the stars in relation to the Earth: the astrolabe.
This instrument was also used in navigation and was extremely useful for orientation and for determining latitude if the time was known; or for telling the time if the latitude was known.

Hegira 417 / AD 1026–7
Umayyads of al-Andalus
Royal Museum, National Museums of Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Muslim craftsmen were experts in building precision instruments and would often identify themselves on the instruments by name.