Astronomy is a field of science that studies the nature and motions of celestial bodies. This includes studying objects such as stars, planets and entire galaxies.Continue Reading
Those in early civilizations recognized and kept records of the regularity of celestial motions, making astronomy the oldest of the physical sciences. Early astronomers used their observations to help create the first calendars, dividing the months and years based on their observations.
Nicolaus Copernicus helped to create modern astronomy in 1543 with the publication of "On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres." This work claimed that the sun, and not the Earth, was the center of solar system and that the Earth rotated on its axis. Another astronomer, Galileo Galilei, used a telescope for astronomical purposes for the first time in history and made observations of four of Jupiter's moons and the phases of Venus. This evidence provided support of Copernicus' ideas. Later, Isaac Newton helped to unite the sciences of astronomy and physics with his laws of motion and theory of universal gravitation.
Techniques that made use of photography and spectroscopy revolutionized astronomy in the 19th century. This helped astronomers shift from studying the positions of stars to studying their composition. In addition, other technological advances, such as larger telescopes, have helped astronomers learn more about the universe.Learn more about Astronomy
Astrophysics is a science that uses physics and chemistry to create theories about the formation, destruction and nature of planets, stars, galaxies and other interstellar bodies. It is closely related to and often confused with the two other main branches of space science: cosmology and astrology.Full Answer >
While Greek mathematician and astronomy Claudius Ptolemy's geocentric theory was incorrect, he was able to explain the motions of heavenly bodies, according to Iowa State University's Polaris Project. The Central Rappahannock Regional Library also says Ptolemy used geometry to predict the movement of the planets (though he believed they revolved around the Earth). He cataloged 1,022 stars. His book "The Almagest" was the cornerstone of astronomy for many centuries.Full Answer >
The field of economics uses scientific methodology to unveil truths about its nature. Economists often perform experiments and use scientific tools for crafting analyses. However, much of the attention paid to economics focuses on its non-scientific aspects.Full Answer >
The geocentric, or Ptolemaic, model of the solar system is the astronomical model advanced by ancient people to describe the motions of the planets, Sun and moon. This model held that the Earth was the center of the solar system, and the other heavenly bodies orbited around it. Scientists now know that this model is incorrect and that the Sun is at the center of the solar system.Full Answer >