Astronomy is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It applies mathematics, physics, and chemistry in an effort to explain the origin of those objects and other phenomena and their evolution. Objects of interest include planets, moons, stars, nebulae, galaxies, and comets, but also include phenomena such as supernova explosions. More generally, everything that originates outside of Earth’s atmosphere is within the purview of astronomy.
Astronomy is also one of the oldest of the natural sciences. Early civilizations such as the Babylonians, Greeks, Indians, Egyptians, Nubians, Iranians, and Chinese carried out methodical observations of the night sky. Historically, astronomy has included disciplines as diverse as astrometry, celestial navigation, observational astronomy, and the making of calendars. Before tools such as the telescope were invented, early study of the stars was conducted using the naked eye. As civilizations developed, most notably in Mesopotamia, Greece, Persia, India, China, Egypt, and Central America, astronomical observatories were assembled and ideas on the nature of our Universe began to develop. Most early astronomy consisted of mapping the positions of the stars and planets, a science now referred to as astrometry. From these observations, early ideas about the motions of the planets were formed, and the nature of the Sun, Moon and the Earth in the Universe were explored philosophically. However, back then, the Earth was believed to be the center of the Universe with the Sun, the Moon and the stars rotating around it.
During the middle ages, astronomy flourished in the Arab world and other parts of the world. This led to the emergence of the first astronomical observatories in the Arab world by the early 9th century. In 964, the Andromeda Galaxy, the largest galaxy in the Local Group (the galaxy group that includes the Milky Way – our galaxy), was described by the Persian astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi in his “Book of Fixed Stars”. The SN 1006 supernova, the brightest apparent magnitude stellar event in recorded history, was observed by the Egyptian-Arabic astronomer Ali ibn Ridwan and Chinese astronomers in 1006. Some of the most prominent astronomers were of either Persian or Arab origin and they made significant contributions to the science. Astronomers during that time introduced many Arabic names now used for individual stars. With this being said, we compiled a list of vocabulary items related to space. This topic often appears in newspapers, yet not many Arabic books deal with it.
Space in Arabic / Fada’/ فضاء
Planet in Arabic / Kawkab / كوكب
Galaxy in Arabic / Majarah /مجرة
Earth in Arabic / Ard /أرض
Sun in Arabic / Shams /شمس
Star in Arabic / Najm /نجم
Jupiter in Arabic / Al mushtari / المشتري
Moon in Arabic / Al qamar /القمر
Pluto in Arabic / Bloto /بلوتو
Neptune in Arabic / Nebtoon /نبتون
Uranus in Arabic / Orans /أورانس
Spaceship in Arabic / Safenah fda’yah /سفينة فضائية
Satellite in Arabic / Qamar sina’I /قمر صناعي
Saturn in Arabic / Zohal in Arabic /زحُل
Gravity in Arabic / Al jathbeyeh /الجاذبية
Camera in Arabic / Alet tasweer /آلة تصوير
Astronaut in Arabic / Ra’ed al fada’ /رائد الفضاء
Rocket in Arabic / Sarookh /صاروخ
Comet in Arabic / Mothanab / مذنب
Orbit in Arabic / Falak / فَلَك
Space station in Arabic / Mahatta fda’yah / محطة فضائية
Telescope in Arabic / Miqrab / مقراب
Mars in Arabic / Al mareekh /المريخ
Spacesuit in Arabic / Bazzah fda’yah /بزة فضائية
Solar eclipse in Arabic / Kosof /كسوف
Lunar eclipse in Arabic / Khosof / خسوف
Meteor in Arabic / Nayzak /نيزك
Black hole / Al thuqb al aswad / الثقب الأسود
Astronomy is a field that interests many, regardless of their origin and background, and now you have some fun facts to share with your friends!