Famous Indian Astronomers

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Aryabhata
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Birthdate: 0476 AD
Birthplace: Assaka
Died: 0550 AD
Indian mathematician and astronomer Aryabhata pioneered the concept of “zero” and used it in his “place value system.” He had also worked on the approximation of pi and laid down the basic concepts of trigonometry, such as sine and cosine. He also mentioned that the Earth rotates on its axis.
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Bhāskara II
(Mathematician)
Bhāskara II
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Birthdate: 1114 AD
Birthplace: Bijjaragi, Vijayapur, Karnataka
Died: 1185 AD

Renowned 12th-century mathematician and astronomer Bhāskara II is remembered for producing the first written work with full use of the decimal system. Siddhānta-Śiromani remains his most notable work. He also worked on quadratic equations and succeeded Brahmagupta as the head of the Ujjain cosmic observatory.

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Brahmagupta
(Mathematician and Astronomer)
Brahmagupta
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Birthdate: 0598 AD
Birthplace: Bhinmal
Died: 0670 AD

Ancient Indian astronomer and mathematician Brahmagupta is best remembered for laying down rules to calculate with zero and for penning the texts Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta and Khaṇḍakhādyaka. His other achievements include his work on surds and positive and negative numbers. He also devised a formula for the area of a cyclic quadrilateral.

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Varāhamihira
(6th Century Indian Astrologer, Astronomer and Polymath)
Varāhamihira
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Birthdate: 0505 AD
Birthplace: Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India
Died: 0587 AD

Best known for his treatise on mathematical astronomy, Pancha-siddhantika, Indian philosopher, astronomer, and polymath Varahamihira was well-versed in Western astronomy. He had also penned Brihat-Samhita and is believed to have been one of the Navaratnas, or Nine Jewels, of the court of Indian king Yashodharman Vikramaditya.

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Jayant Narlikar
(Physicist, Astronomer, Astrophysicist, Scientist, University teacher, Science fiction writer)
Jayant Narlikar
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Birthdate: July 19, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kolhapur

Born to a math professor father and a Sanskrit scholar mother, Astrophysicist and IUCAA professor Jayant Narlikar grew up to collaborate with Sir Fred Hoyle, leading to the conformal gravity theory, also known as the Hoyle-Narlikar theory. He has won the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan and penned sci-fi novels, too.

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Bhāskara I
(Mathematician)
Bhāskara I
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Birthdate: 0600 AD
Birthplace: Parbhani, India
Died: 0680 AD

Legendary 7th-century astronomer Bhāskara I is best known for deciphering Aryabhatta’s work and was the first to use a circle to mean a “zero” in the Indian decimal system. The Mahabhaskariya and the Laghubhaskariya remain two of his best works. He was also an expert in early mathematical astronomy.

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Madhava of Sangamagrama
(Mathematician, astronomer)
Madhava of Sangamagrama
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Birthdate: 1340 AD
Birthplace: Kerala
Died: 1425 AD

Fifteenth-century Indian astronomer and mathematician Madhava of Sangamagrama is largely remembered as the man who established the Kerala School of mathematics. Of his most notable works are his discovery of the power series and his research on the infinite series. He was known as Golavid, or the Master of Spherics.

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Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan
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Birthdate: October 24, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ernakulam, India

Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan is an Indian space scientist who supervised the development of several scientific satellites including the Indian Remote Sensing Satellites IRS-1A and IRS-1B and the Indian National Satellite (INSAT-2) while serving as the director of ISRO Satellite Centre. He served as the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for nine years from 1994 to 2003.

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Shripati
(Astronomer)
Shripati
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Birthdate: 1019 AD
Birthplace: India
Died: 1066 AD

Eleventh-century Indian mathematician and astronomer Shripati is best remembered for his writings on astral science, such as Dhikotidakarana and Siddhantasekhara. His works covered areas such as algebra, horoscopic astrology, and math, but he gained fame mostly for his astrological works, such as the text Jyotisaratnamala.