18 Facts Indians Don’t Know About Aryabhatta, The Master Astronomer & Mathematician

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12:00 pm 24 Jan, 2016

Aryabhatta was the first mathematician astronomer from the classical age of India, when mathematics and astronomy were still in their nascent stages of development around the globe. His works have been extensively used by the Greeks and others in the Middle East.

His most famous work was compiled when he was just 23 years old.

While we may all have heard about him, not many know interesting facts from his life. These are given below, and are a must read:

1. Aryabhatta was one of the first Indian mathematicians and space exploration experts.


2. Aryabhatta composed numerous numerical and cosmic treatises; among these, ‘Aryabhatiya’ was his first major work.

He wrote his book ‘Aryabhatiya’, when he was only 23.


3. ‘Ayrabhatiya’ covers several branches of mathematics such as algebra, arithmetic, plane and spherical trigonometry.


4. His principal focus was mathematics; he went into extraordinary insight about arithmetic and geometric movements like 2, 4, 6, and 8 or 2, 10, 50, and 250.


5. He formulated a brilliant technique for finding the lengths of chords of circles with half chords as opposed to the full chord strategy utilized by Greeks.


6. He also came up with an approximation of pi and determined that pi(π) is irrational.


7. He was the first mathematician to give what later came to be known as the tables of sine, cosine, versine, and converse sine to four decimal spots, which brought forth trigonometry.


8. Aryabhatta has named the initial 10 decimal places and derived the methods for extracting square roots, summing arithmetic series and solving indeterminate equations of the type ax – by = c.

His method to find a solution to indeterminate equations of this type is recognized the world over.


9. Aryabhatta worked on the place value system and discovered zero for the first time, making use of letters to indicate numbers and pointing out qualities.


10. He stated correctly the number of days in a year to be 365, alongside the seven-day week and about an intercalary month embedded into a year to make the calendar adjust to the seasons.

Time, therefore, could be measured all the more precisely.

11. He discovered the position of nine planets and expressed that these likewise rotated around the sun.


12. He also provided the circumference and measurement of the Earth and the radius of the orbits of 9 planets.


13. Aryabhatta challenged many superstitious theories

He also gave a theory on eclipse; he said it wasn’t because of Rahu, as preached by many priests, but because of shadows cast by the earth and moon.


14. Aryabhatta pronounced that the moon has no light of its own.

It is visible because it mirrors the light of the sun.



15. He concluded that the earth is round. He also stated that it rotates on its own axis, which is why we have days and nights.


16. Another discipline Aryabhatta explored was astronomy; he concentrated on a few geometric and trigonometric parts of the celestial sphere that are still used to study stars.


17. In his old age, Aryabhatta composed another treatise, ‘Aryabhatta-siddhanta’.

It’s a booklet for every day astronomical calculations as well as a guide to examine auspicious times for performing rituals.To this very day, astronomical data provided in this text is used for preparing panchangs (Hindu calendars).


18. India’s first satellite Aryabhatta was named after him.

There is also an Indian research center is called ‘Aryabhata Research Institute of Observational Sciences’.


We hope more Indians would come to know about this master astronomer and mathematician. We really should be proud that we had such a man making such advanced discoveries back in the day when half of the world wasn’t even civilized.


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