Astronomy is that branch of science which involves studying the celestial objects of the solar system. These celestial objects include; the planets, stars, galaxies, nebulae, comets, meteorites, the sun, moon and any other object placed outside the atmosphere of the earth. The word astronomy originates from two Greek words, the word ‘astron’, which means star, and the word ‘nomos’ which means arrangement.
In astronomy, scientists try to understand physical laws of the universe and also the origin of the universe. Some scientists even came up with the big bang theory to explain the origin of the universe. This theory indicates that the universe was created through an explosion that expanded the solar system. Scientists also practice the calculation of the positions and motional behavior of the celestial bodies.
There are several disciplines covered in the study of astronomy. These disciplines are:
Astrometry is the branch of astronomy whereby the positions of the planets and stars are measured. The scientists do this using computers and modern CCD cameras.
- Galactic Astronomy
Galactic astronomy is the part of astronomy where the components and the structure of the galaxies are studied. The galaxy that is mostly studied is the Milky Way galaxy. This is the galaxy that our solar system is. Scientists say that there are other galaxies far away from the Milky Way. Not much study has been done on them though.
- Stellar Astronomy
Stellar astronomy is referred to as the study of the evolution and origin of stars. Here, scientists come up with various theories and explanations as to how exactly the stars originated and how they are evolving.
Cosmology is the discipline where the origin of the universe and the evolution of the universe are studied as a whole. It is in astrology that scientists came up with the big bang theory to explain the origin of the universe.
In astrophysics, the physics of the components of the universe is studied. Here, the scientists study the chemical components of the objects in the universe, they find a way of telling the temperatures of certain bodies such as the sun and how the temperature of the planets is directly related to their closeness to the sun. Mercury which is closest to the sun is way hotter than Neptune which is far away from the sun. The luminosity of the objects is also studied in astrophysics. We learn that most planetary bodies reflect light from the sun.
Besides the above disciplines, there is also planetary science which deals with studying planets, asteroids and comets. There is also astrobiology which deals with the likelihood of there being life in other parts of the universe besides the earth.
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