Wednesday, 7 December 2011


1904 Astronomy is an introductory course that looks at "everything in the universe." Astronomy is the science which investigates all the matter-energy in the universe: its distribution, composition, physical states, movements, and evolution. Students begin by learning the basic science that is used by astronomers including a brief history of astronomy which describes the early development of scientific methods used today. This background is used to look at the earth, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and meteorites in a detailed study of our solar system. Attention is then turned to the stars -their births, lives, and deaths - using our sun as a first example and culminating with supernovas, neutrons stars, and the concept of black holes. Later, the focus is broadened to look at galaxies and quasars, and the course finishes with a study of cosmology - the structure, history, and predicted future of the universe.

Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences. Prehistoric cultures left behind astronomical artifacts such as the Egyptian monuments, Nubin Monuments and Stonehenge, and early civilizations such as the Babylonians, Greeks, Chinese, Indians, Iranians and Maya performed methodical observations of the night sky. 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 astrometry, celestial navigation, observational astronomy, the making of calendars, and astrology, but professional astronomy is nowadays often considered to be synonymous with astrophysics.

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