Astronomy is the natural science which focuses on the space which is defined as the expanse that exists beyond the planet Earth and between celestial bodies.
Additionally, it concentrates on astral objects such as the sun, moon, stars, planets, gas, galaxies, comet, dust and other astronomical bodies and phenomena.
The discipline applies subjects such as mathematics, physics and chemistry to explain the origin of these objects and their evolutions.
Astronomy is one of the oldest disciplines of natural sciences and in the past, it included subjects such as astrometry, celestial navigation and observational astronomy.
As well as this, traditionally the term astronomy was related to the term astrology. However, astrology is not a science and it is no longer associated with the discipline.
Professional astronomy is divided into two branches: observational astronomy and theoretical astronomy. Observational astronomy is a science that focuses on acquiring information from the observation of astronomical objects. This data is then analysed using the principles of physics. Theoretical astronomy, instead, concentrates on developing computing and analytical models which can describe astronomical objects and phenomena. These two branches are a complement for each other as theoretical astronomy tries to explain observational results and observational astronomy is used to confirm theoretical results.
The discipline has ancient origins. Before the development of the telescope, civilisations in Mesopotamia, Greece, Persia, India, China, Egypt and Central America observed the sky and started mapping the position of the stars and planets.
From these observations, ideas about the motions of planets originated and philosophies which focused on the nature of the sun, moon and earth started to be explored.
Developments in the discipline have happened with the introduction of the mathematical and scientific astronomy among the Babylonians. As well as this, the discipline becomes very popular with the scientific revolution and the introduction of the Copernicus and Kepler models.
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