Call Us: US - +1 845 478 5244 | UK - +44 20 7193 7850 | AUS - +61 2 8005 4826

Earth Science Careers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to navigationJump to searchThis article is about the scientific study of celestial objects. For other uses, see Astronomy (disambiguation).Not to be confused with astrology, the pseudoscience.

A giant Hubble mosaic of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant

The Milky Way as viewed from La Silla Observatory

Astronomy (from Greek: ἀστρονομία) is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It applies mathematicsphysics, and chemistry in an effort to explain the origin of those objects and phenomena and their evolution. Objects of interest include planetsmoonsstarsnebulaegalaxies, and comets; the phenomena also includes supernova explosions, gamma ray burstsquasarsblazarspulsars, and cosmic microwave background radiation. More generally, all phenomena that originate outside Earth’s atmosphere are within the purview of astronomy. A branch of astronomy called cosmology is the study of the Universe as a whole.[1]

Astronomy is one of the oldest of the natural sciences. The early civilizations in recorded history, such as the BabyloniansGreeksIndiansEgyptiansNubiansIraniansChineseMaya, and many ancient indigenous peoples of the Americas, performed methodical observations of the night sky. Historically, astronomy has included disciplines as diverse as astrometrycelestial navigationobservational astronomy, and the making of calendars, but professional astronomy is now often considered to be synonymous with astrophysics.[2]

Professional astronomy is split into observational and theoretical branches. Observational astronomy is focused on acquiring data from observations of astronomical objects, which is then analyzed using basic principles of physics. Theoretical astronomy is oriented toward the development of computer or analytical models to describe astronomical objects and phenomena. The two fields complement each other, with theoretical astronomy seeking to explain observational results and observations being used to confirm theoretical results.

Astronomy is one of the few sciences in which amateurs still play an active role, especially in the discovery and observation of transient eventsAmateur astronomers have made and contributed to many important astronomical discoveries, such as finding new comets.