Al-Sufi, Abd al-Rahman (AD 903–986)
Al-Sufi was a Persian nobleman and astronomer, also known in the West by
the Latinized name Azophi, who lived at the court of the Emire Adud ad-Daula
and carried out observations based on Greek work, especially the Almagest of Ptolemy. Al-Sufi's The Book of the Fixed Stars (Kitab al-Kawatib
al-Thabit al-Musawwar), published in about AD 964, includes a catalogue
of 1,018 stars, giving their approximate positions, magnitudes, and colors.
It contains Arabic star names that, in corrupted form, are still in use
today, and the earliest known reference to the Andromeda
Galaxy. Al-Sufi also recorded and named a southern celestial feature
al-Baqar al-Abyad (the White Bull), which today we know as the Large
|10th century Persian painting, possibly
The Book of the Fixed Stars remains an important source of historical
information in studies of proper motion and long-period variables.