Muhammad Taraghay was born somewhere in the wagon train of the army invading Persia under the command of his grandfather, great conqueror Timur (Tamerlane). After Timur’s death, he became the ruler of Mavarannahr, yet showed little interest in politics, war and intrigues. According to the legend, it was the famous observatory of astronomer Nasir al-Din al-Tusi in Maragheh near Tabriz that changed the life of future scientist. He was carried away by astronomy and even built his own observatory in Samarkand in the image and likeness of Maragheh one. Having become the ruler, Ulugh Beg turned Samarkand into a center of science, having built a madrasah and invited the best Islamic astronomers and mathematicians. 30 years of Ulugh Beg’s research activities were crowned with astronomical guide New Khaqani Astronomical Tables. This guide preserving the title (instead of name) of Ulugh Beg (khaquan means khan’s son in law, which is the evidence of Timur and his successors having become kin with Chingisids) was soon translated into Latin and kept in all European observatories until the 17th century. Along with astronomy, he succeeded in geography and history and even wrote historical book History of Four Uluses (nomad settlements). Unfortunately, Ulugh Beg failed to master the art of winning in intrigues and was killed in a treacherous way.
In 1394, astronomer Ulugh Beg was born