The science of astronomy and observation of objects in the sky has been of utmost importance for Iranians since ancient times. Persian astronomical history consists of two periods. We know nothing about the pre-Islamic period because all of the records were lost during different wars. But the history of astronomy in the Islamic period shows tremendous progress, which can be classified as follows:
1.     the first century to the fifth century of Hejira (the tenth century AD), during which astronomical research thrived. In this period, the great Persian astronomer Omar- Khayyam (AD 1131 – 1038) made arrangements to differentiate the calendar and solved astronomical problems related to the calculation and precision of dating.
2.     The second period is important due to the construction of astronomical instruments, their use and the establishment of research centers or observatories.
There is of course a third period corresponding to recent times during which, unfortunately, one cannot find much in way of brilliant activities
Following the eleventh century of Hejira (sixteenth century AD), astronomical work virtually ceased. It is historical fact that Persia the seventh to eleventh century of Hejira (twelfth to sixteenth century AD), led the world in astronomical science. It was in this brilliant period of science that such famous figures as Abu-Reyhan-e-Birouni (AD 973-1037) and Abdul-Rahman-e-Soufi (AD 904-986) lived.
 Birouni constructed an astrolabe and calculated the Earths radius using a method based on sunset phenomena.
Soufi was a genius of this outstanding period whose work and research astonished the world. He discovered the Andromeda Nebula and various binary stars without having a telescope. His astronomical calculations are quite compatible with today’s computerized calculations. The translation of his book, entitled” Sovar-Al-ka-Wakeb” was one of fundamental importance and was used by scientists in Europe. He also was the first to discover variable stars. To honor him, certain features on the surface of the moon are named after him. Geyas-Alddin-Djamshid-Kashani (A.D 1436-1352) constructed twelve observational instruments and established the observatory of Oleg-Begk in Samargand. Khajeh-Nassir-Addin Toussi constructed what was then the world’s greatest observatory, the observatory of Marageh.                                                
Astronomy at present time
     In 1979, the University of Tabriz, which is one of the principal scientific centers in Azerbaijan, accepted the responsibility for the renovation of Mirage Observatory. The aim of the University was to revive the science of astronomy with the help and collaboration of the present experts and scientists already living in Iran. The University continues to pursue these goals. Specifically, the University of Tabriz established as a project the creation of a "Center for Astronomical Research"
Last Update At : 01 January 2017