This video clip from 1001 Inventions is a short preface to the story of one skilled astronomer and astrolabe maker Maryam Al-Ijliya.
She was an astronomer who lived in Aleppo (Syria) during the10th Century. She learnt the basics astrolabe fabricating from her father and perfected it.
Despite Maryam not signing her work, her fame came through her innovative hand-crafted designs.
In her honor, astronomer Henry E. Holt named a main belt asteroid after her in 1990.
Regarding the Astrolabe, it is one of the most beautiful and well known astronomical tools.
It was created by the Greeks but was perfected by Islamic scientists throughout the ages.
The Astrolabe determines the position/altitude of the stars, the sun, the planets and tell the time. Hence these devices were used by astronomers and navigators to determine their positions.
Since it is a visible map of the sky, it has been the foundation of modern tools like GPS.
If you are interested by detailed use of the astrolabe, please check this TED video: