Astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects such as stars, planets, comets, galaxies and phenomena that originate outside the Earth's atmosphere including 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 ancient civilizations performed methodical observations of the night sky, and astronomical artifacts have been found from very early 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 and the making of calendars, 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 too 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 celestial changes.


Astronomy and Astrophysics

Generally, either the term "astronomy" or "astrophysics" may be used to refer to this subject. 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 and "astrophysics" refers to the branch of astronomy dealing with the behavior, physical properties, and dynamic processes of celestial objects and phenomena.

Types of Astronomy
  • Radio astronomy
  • Infrared astronomy
  • Optical astronomy
  • Ultraviolet astronomy
  • X-ray astronomy
  • Gamma-ray astronomy
  • Astrometry
  • Theoretical astronomy
  • Solar astronomy
  • Planetary science
  • Stellar astronomy
  • Galactic astronomy
  • Extragalactic astronomy
  • Cosmology
  • Amateur astronomy


Find out what Australian scientists have planned as our future aerospace activities.

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The Australian Space Agency has numerous amateur activities and associations that are open for community involvement. Join other enthusiasts and share the excitement of Space.