This is a description of the science of Astronomy and its history.
Astronomy is the natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena originating outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Celestial objects includes stars, planets, dwarf planets, asteroids, comets, nebulae, star clusters, globular cluster and galaxies.
The basic activities include observing celestial objects and measuring their properties such a mss, diameter, brightness and composition. Observations are usually made by way of some form of telescope. The types of telescopes used include visible light, radio, inferred, ultraviolet, X – ray, and gamma ray telescopes.
Astronomy is one the oldest sciences in existence dating back at least as far as the beginning of civilization. Historically astronomy has included fields like:
1. Astrometry – The precise measurement of the positions movements of stars other celestial bodies.
2. Celestial navigation,
3. Observational astronomy,
4. The making of calendars
The development of the telescope was a giant leap in astronomy allowing observations beyond the rage of the unaided eye. In the 20th century astronomy divided into two main fields. Observational Astronomy involves acquiring data from observations and analyzing that data using physics. Theoretical Astronomy is the development of computer models to describe astronomical objects and phenomena.
Today Observational and Theoretical Astronomy complement each other. The theoretical Seeks to explain observations and observations used to test the theoretical. Amateur astronomers have also contributed to many important astronomical discoveries making astronomy one of the few sciences that amateurs can still play an active role.