What is Astronomy?

Astronomy is the scientific study of the universe. The word “Astronomy” comes from the Old French and Latin from Greek astronomia, literally “star-arranging,” from astro- “ astro- ” + -nomia. “Astro-” refers to the star or outer space and “-nomy” refers to the “system of rules, laws or knowledge about a particular field”.

Astronomy deals with the movements, positions, sizes, compositions and behavior of the celestial objects. Celestial objects refer to the objects present in the deep space.

In a broader sense, astronomy is the study of everything in the universe.

Astronomy is the study of universe (Credit: International Astronomical Union)

Astronomers study these objects with the help of radiations emitted by these objects and from the data obtained by the interplanetary probes. Probe refers to the spacecraft or satellite specifically designed to explore the solar system or outer spaces and send and get data to and from stations on Earth.

Although astronomical studies come with many different fields of life such as mathematics, chemistry, geology, biology, and physics but physics is the major aspect in astronomy, even astronomers are sometimes referred to as astrophysicists.

It has been considered that before the invention of telescopes astronomy was the combination of theory and astrology.

In recent times, astronomy comes under the observational and theoretical branches. Observational astronomy gathers data from observations of celestial objects, which is then analyzed using the principles of physics while theoretical astronomy deals with the development of computer or analytical models to study the astronomical objects and phenomena.

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