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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre launches 'Star Walk'

posted on 23/11/2010: 1856 views



The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre has launched an initiative entitled 'Star Walk', which makes use of an astronomical software programme in Arabic, thus offering unique high-quality features for stargazing for all those who are interested in space, and is accessible to iPhone and iPad users.

This program was developed by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre in collaboration with a pioneering international computer software and communication company - "VITO Technology". It supports three-dimensional graphic technology.

Those who browse this unique programme will see the stars and their relationship to each other and us, in terms of dimensions and distances from planet earth. They will also be able to carry a virtual tour of the planet or star of choice. The advanced search option lets the user obtain information about a given planet. The high visual features that give the impression that a small mobile phone can accommodate 88 constellations, 9,110 stars, and eight planets, allowing the surfer to navigate them with visual clarity. The program reflects the movement of these planets and the stars, through day and night, and provides accurate mathematical calculations related to them.

"The development of an Arabic version of this pioneering program is one of many steps that will be undertaken by the Centre on the road to develop science, culture and Arab and Islamic heritage. It uses with the latest techniques to expand perceptions and open horizons on technological achievements that were once significant in the Muslim world, thanks to the interest in of Islamic scholars," said Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre.

"Arabic has absorbed a huge Islamic astronomical heritage that influenced humanity. This Arab Muslim scientific heritage can be used to introduce youth to the achievements of their predecessors in science, astronomy, medicine, architecture, and other arts and sciences that manifested in Arabic throughout the ages. The language is able to take in various fields of knowledge and to devise accurate scientific terminology, during experiments that are known to have made an unprecedented contribution to the renaissance of human development in," added bin Tamim.

On the Sheikh Zayed Mosque Centre adoption of such projects, Dr. Ali bin Tamim said: "This great edifice, whose cornerstone was laid by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, is a new masterpiece of architecture and art that adds to Islamic and world heritage in the field of architecture. It aspires to be a world monument of science and knowledge, which revives the symbolic place of mosques. The adoption of projects such the 'Ascension of Stars' puts us on the path to contributing to the production and spread of technology, especially if it serves the Islamic sciences. Hence our keenness to put this program in Arabic is part of our awareness of the capabilities of our language in understanding, communicating and interacting with modern technology, especially as it is one of the few languages that have contributed to the development of science through the history of mankind."

Talal Al Mazrouei, Director of Cultural Events and Activities at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, said that the "'Star Walk' " program, developed in Arabic by a team of specialists , is in line with the strategic vision of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, sponsored and supported by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

"The program comes as a comprehensive guide for interested Arab readers and researchers, young and old alike. This program is a developed and translated version of 'Star Walk', and gives comprehensive images and information on stars, constellations, planets, comets and the solar system in Arabic, Greek, Latin, and English," said Mazrouei.

Mazrouei added: "It is a unique program that puts spheres in the hands of users, allowing them to move as they wish, getting closer or further, maximise or minimise , heading to the sky from any point on the surface of the earth, in any direction, with the capability to choose preferred time and the positions of the stars at that time, whether past, present or future. This is in addition to access to daily astronomical images - renewable highlights that show the beauty of the universe, our blue planet the earth, other planets, comets, moons, meteors, stars with varying brightness, and much more." Talal al Mazrouei noted that the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre development team has put effective touches on this program: the Arab Islamic heritage, whether astronomical, scientific, poetic or popular, was added to the texts of the programme in an impressive way, adding more than one third to the original text.

"We supplied the program with an important glossary. Translator, researcher, author and architect Wasfi Amin Al Shadifat, translated and modified the program content on cosmic reflection, adding the parts of Arab and Islamic heritage related to astronomy with the names of old Arab scientists and astronomers," emphasised Mazrouei. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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