Basic things about astronomy

Astronomy is considered as one of the oldest sciences in the world. Humans have always been interested in “strange events” in the sky like falling stars and solar eclipse. Ancients observed the sky to determine the time for crops and great events. In fact, the Babylonians made one of the first recorded observatories. As the civilizations advanced, so did their calendars based on movements of celestial bodies. It is necessary to mention the famous Mayan solar calendar, that followed not only minor but the longer cycles. However, task of astronomy today is to describe movements, structure and phenomena of celestial bodies.

Until medieval times people had a very simplified vision of the Universe. Namely, they thought that the Sun, the stars and the planets they were aware of turn around the Earth (geocentrism). Furthermore, they considered that galaxy is one closed space which contains Earth, Sun and planets. Ancient Greek scientists such as Pythagoras and Anaximander argued geocentric model. They are, also, considered to be the founders of the scientific astronomy. In 1543. Copernicus has forever changed astronomy. He claimed that the center of the universe is Sun (heliocentrism). Another significant date in astronomy is the year of 1609 when the telescope was invented. Galileo Galieli was first scientist to use the telescope. In 17th century, Isaac Newton formed the laws of motion and gravity and marked the beginning of modern astronomy. In the 18th century astronomy dealt with precise measurements of the moving of planets. One century later astronomers have been intrigued with the origin and size of universe. Einstein’s theory of relativity has contributed to better development of astronomy and the study of planetary interior. All this was a prelude to the story that “the solar system is only a fraction of one galaxy in vast, perhaps endless, space surrounded by countless others that keep changing, dying and newly emerging…


3 thoughts on “Basic things about astronomy

  1. Pingback: What’s Astronomy Anyway? | Irene W. Pennington Planetarium

  2. Pingback: Cryptoquote Spoiler – 10/19/13 | Unclerave's Wordy Weblog

  3. Pingback: “Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and lead us from this world to another,” A Discourse on Astronomy and Astrology in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History | The Leather Library

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