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Astronomy

      Astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies and phenomena that originate outside the Earth's atmosphere such as the cosmic background radiation. It is concerned with the evolution, physics, chemistry, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects, as well as the formation and development of the universe.

      Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences. Astronomers of early civilizations performed methodical observations of the night sky, and astronomical artifacts have been found from much earlier periods. However, the invention of the telescope was required before astronomy was able to develop into a modern science. Historically, astronomy has included disciplines as diverse as astrometry, celestial navigation, observational astronomy, the making of calendars, and even astrology, but professional astronomy is nowadays often considered to be synonymous with astrophysics. Since the 20th century, the field of professional astronomy split into observational and theoretical branches. Observational astronomy is focused on acquiring and analyzing data, mainly using basic principles of physics. Theoretical astronomy is oriented towards 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 the observational results, and observations being used to confirm theoretical results.

      Amateur astronomers have contributed to many important astronomical discoveries, and astronomy is one of the few sciences where amateurs can still play an active role, especially in the discovery and observation of transient phenomena. Old or even ancient astronomy is not to be confused with astrology, the belief system which claims that human affairs are correlated with the positions of celestial objects. Although the two fields share a common origin and a part of their methods namely, the use of ephemerides, they are distinct. 2009 has been declared by the UN to be the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009). The focus is on enhancing the publicí»s engagement with and understanding of astronomy.

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Astrology

      Astrology is a group of systems, traditions, and beliefs in which knowledge of the apparent relative positions of celestial bodies and related details is held to be useful in understanding, interpreting, and organizing information about personality, human affairs, and other terrestrial matters. A practitioner of astrology is called an astrologer or an astrologist. Numerous traditions and applications employing astrological concepts have arisen since its earliest recorded beginnings in the 3rd millennium BC. It has played a role in the shaping of culture, early astronomy, and other disciplines throughout history.

      Astrology were often indistinguishable before the modern era, with the desire for predictive and divinatory knowledge one of the primary motivating factors for astronomical observation. Astronomy began to diverge from astrology after a period of gradual separation from the Renaissance up until the 18th century. Eventually, astronomy distinguished itself as the scientific study of astronomical objects and phenomena without regard to the astrological speculation of these phenomena.

      Astrology can be defined as the study of the positions of celestial bodies in the belief that their movements either directly influence life on Earth or correspond somehow to events experienced on a human scale. Modern astrologers define astrology as a symbolic language, an art form, and a form of divination. Despite differences of definitions, a common assumption of astrology is the use of celestial placements in order to explain past and present events and predict the future. Generally, the scientific community considers astrology a pseudoscience or superstition. Despite its rejection by virtually all scientists, 31% of Americans polled expressed a belief in astrology and 39% considered it scientific according to another study.










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