Astronomy

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 mathematics, physics, and chemistry in an effort to explain the origin of those objects and phenomena and their evolution. Objects of interest include planets, moons, stars, galaxies, and comets; the phenomena also includes supernova explosions, gamma ray bursts, quasars blazars, pulsars, and cosmic microwave background radiation. More generally, all phenomena that originate outside Earth's atmosphere are within the purview of astronomy. A related but distinct subject is physical cosmology, which 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 Babylonians, Greeks, Indians, Egyptians, Nubians, Iranians, Chinese, Maya, and many ancient indigenous peoples of the Americas, performed methodical observations of the night sky. Historically, astronomy has included disciplines as diverse as astrometry, celestial navigation, observational 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 events. Amateur astronomers have made and contributed to many important astronomical discoveries, such as finding new comets.

Etymology

19th-century Sydney Observatory, Australia (1873) [3]
19th-century Quito Astronomical Observatory is located 12 minutes south of the Equator in Quito, Ecuador.[4]

Astronomy (from the Greek ἀστρονομία from ἄστρον astron, "star" and -νομία -nomia from νόμος nomos, "law" or "culture") means "law of the stars" (or "culture of the stars" depending on the translation). Astronomy should not be confused with astrology, the belief system which claims that human affairs are correlated with the positions of celestial objects.[5] Although the two fields share a common origin, they are now entirely distinct.[6]

Use of terms "astronomy" and "astrophysics"

Generally, both of the terms "astronomy" and "astrophysics" may be used to refer to the same subject.[7][8][9] Based on strict dictionary definitions, "astronomy" refers to "the study of objects and matter outside the Earth's atmosphere and of their physical and chemical properties,"[10] while "astrophysics" refers to the branch of astronomy dealing with "the behavior, physical properties, and dynamic processes of celestial objects and phenomena."[11] In some cases, as in the introduction of the introductory textbook The Physical Universe by Frank Shu, "astronomy" may be used to describe the qualitative study of the subject, whereas "astrophysics" is used to describe the physics-oriented version of the subject.[12] However, since most modern astronomical research deals with subjects related to physics, modern astronomy could actually be called astrophysics.[7] Some fields, such as astrometry, are purely astronomy rather than also astrophysics. Various departments in which scientists carry out research on this subject may use "astronomy" and "astrophysics," partly depending on whether the department is historically affiliated with a physics department,[8] and many professional astronomers have physics rather than astronomy degrees.[9] Some titles of the leading scientific journals in this field include The Astronomical Journal, The Astrophysical Journal, and Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Sterrekunde
Alemannisch: Astronomie
አማርኛ: ሥነ ፈለክ
Ænglisc: Tungolcræft
العربية: علم الفلك
aragonés: Astronomía
armãneashti: Astronomie
arpetan: Astronomia
asturianu: Astronomía
Avañe'ẽ: Arakuaa
azərbaycanca: Astronomiya
تۆرکجه: آسترونومی
bamanankan: Dolokalan
Bahasa Banjar: Astronomi
Bân-lâm-gú: Thian-bûn-ha̍k
Basa Banyumasan: Astronomi
башҡортса: Астрономия
беларуская: Астраномія
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Астраномія
भोजपुरी: खगोलशास्त्र
Bislama: Astronomi
български: Астрономия
Boarisch: Astronomie
bosanski: Astronomija
brezhoneg: Steredoniezh
català: Astronomia
Чӑвашла: Астрономи
Cebuano: Astronomiya
čeština: Astronomie
chiShona: Zvechadenga
corsu: Astronomia
Cymraeg: Seryddiaeth
dansk: Astronomi
Deutsch: Astronomie
ދިވެހިބަސް: ފަލަކީ އިލްމު
dolnoserbski: Astronomija
Ελληνικά: Αστρονομία
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Astronomî
español: Astronomía
Esperanto: Astronomio
estremeñu: Astronomia
euskara: Astronomia
فارسی: اخترشناسی
Fiji Hindi: Taara vigyan
føroyskt: Stjørnufrøði
français: Astronomie
Frysk: Astronomy
furlan: Astronomie
Gàidhlig: Reul-eòlas
galego: Astronomía
贛語: 天文學
ગુજરાતી: ખગોળશાસ્ત્ર
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Thiên-vùn-ho̍k
한국어: 천문학
Hawaiʻi: Kilo hōkū
hrvatski: Astronomija
Ilokano: Astronomia
Bahasa Indonesia: Astronomi
interlingua: Astronomia
Interlingue: Astronomie
ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ/inuktitut: ᓯᓚᓯᐅᕐᓂᖅ
isiXhosa: IAstronomi
íslenska: Stjörnufræði
italiano: Astronomia
Basa Jawa: Astronomi
kalaallisut: Ulloriarsiorneq
Kapampangan: Astronomia
къарачай-малкъар: Астрономия
ქართული: ასტრონომია
kaszëbsczi: Astronomijô
қазақша: Астрономия
kernowek: Astronymyl
Kiswahili: Astronomia
Kreyòl ayisyen: Astwonomi
kurdî: Stêrnasî
Кыргызча: Астрономия
Ladino: Astronomiya
Latina: Astronomia
latviešu: Astronomija
Lëtzebuergesch: Astronomie
lietuvių: Astronomija
Ligure: Astronomia
Limburgs: Starekunde
Lingua Franca Nova: Astronomia
Livvinkarjala: Tiähtitiedo
la .lojban.: kesyske
lumbaart: Astronomia
македонски: Астрономија
Malagasy: Hainkintana
მარგალური: ასტრონომია
مصرى: فلك
Bahasa Melayu: Astronomi
Baso Minangkabau: Astronomi
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Tiĕng-ùng
Mirandés: Astronomie
монгол: Одон орон
မြန်မာဘာသာ: နက္ခတ္တဗေဒ
Nederlands: Astronomie
Nedersaksies: Steernskunde
नेपाल भाषा: खगोलशास्त्र
日本語: 天文学
Napulitano: Astronumia
нохчийн: Астрономи
Nordfriisk: Stäärkunde
Norfuk / Pitkern: Estronomii
norsk: Astronomi
norsk nynorsk: Astronomi
Nouormand: Astrononmie
Novial: Astronomia
occitan: Astronomia
олык марий: Астрономий
Oromoo: Astironoomii
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Astronomiya
پنجابی: تارہ پڑھت
Patois: Aschranami
ភាសាខ្មែរ: តារាសាស្ត្រ
Picard: Astrononmie
Piemontèis: Astronomìa
Tok Pisin: Estronomi
Plattdüütsch: Astronomie
polski: Astronomia
português: Astronomia
Qaraqalpaqsha: Astronomiya
română: Astronomie
Romani: Chexanipen
rumantsch: Astronomia
Runa Simi: Quyllur yachay
русиньскый: Астрономія
русский: Астрономия
саха тыла: Астрономия
Gagana Samoa: Saienisi o fetū
संस्कृतम्: खगोलशास्त्रम्
Sängö: Sêndâtongo
sardu: Astronomia
Scots: Astronomy
Sesotho sa Leboa: Thutanaledi
shqip: Astronomia
sicilianu: Astrunumìa
Simple English: Astronomy
slovenčina: Astronómia
slovenščina: Astronomija
ślůnski: Astrōnōmijŏ
Soomaaliga: Xiddigis
српски / srpski: Астрономија
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Astronomija
Basa Sunda: Astronomi
svenska: Astronomi
Tagalog: Astronomiya
தமிழ்: வானியல்
Taqbaylit: Tasnallunt
татарча/tatarça: Астрономия
tetun: Astronomia
ትግርኛ: አስትሮኖሚ
Türkçe: Astronomi
Türkmençe: Astronomiýa
Thuɔŋjäŋ: Ŋiɛ̈ckanhial
українська: Астрономія
اردو: فلکیات
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ئاسترونومىيە
Vahcuengh: Denhvwnz
vèneto: Astronomia
Tiếng Việt: Thiên văn học
Volapük: Stelav
文言: 天文學
West-Vlams: Astronomie
Winaray: Astronomiya
吴语: 天文學
ייִדיש: אסטראנאמיע
Yorùbá: Ìtòràwọ̀
粵語: 天文學
Zeêuws: Staerrekunde
žemaitėška: Astruonuomėjė
中文: 天文學