The astronomers forever comment on and observe them.
Macpherson, Astronomers of To-Day (1905).
Had the internal contacts alone been used, which many astronomers would have considered the proper course, the result would have been 8.776" In 1877 Sir David Gill organized an expedition to the island of Ascension to observe the parallax of Mars with the heliometer.
Under the rule of the Abbasids, Bagdad became the centre of scientific thought; physicians and astronomers from India and Syria flocked to their court; Greek and Indian manuscripts were translated (a work commenced by the Caliph Mamun (813-833) and ably continued by his successors); and in about a century the Arabs were placed in possession of the vast stores of Greek and Indian learning.
The Arab astronomers measured a degree on the plains of Mesopotamia, thereby deducing a fair approximation to the size of the earth.