Astronomy, as stated in Wikipedia, is the science of celestial objects and phenomena that originates outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Simply put, it studies the moon, the other planets and stars, and the universe we live in.
Since time immemorial, people have been intro Astronomy long before they gave it a name. Early studies of astronomy comprised of simple observation (through the naked eye) of visible heavenly bodies and predictions of its probable movements.
With the development of the ancient civilizations such as that of China, Greece, Egypt and India, various observatories where dedicated and used for the advancement of astronomical studies. Even before the telescope had been invented, various discoveries had already been made, such as the cycle of eclipses (by the Chaldeans), and the size of the Moon and its distance from the Earth (by Hipparchus).
Modern times brought in the invention of other equipment which had profound effects of uncovering other discoveries about the universe. The telescope enabled people to study and determine the other planets and had predicted and calculated the entry or passing through of various comets or meteorites.
Some of the most famous astronomers are the following:
1. Edmund Halley. He was the British astronomer who was the first to be able to calculate the orbit of a comet.
2. Galileo Galilei. Am Italian who is well known for his contributions to physics and astronomy, most notably of which is his invention of the telescope.
3. Claudius Ptolemy. He is the author of Almagest, which contained various geometric theories that mathematically explained the position and motion of the sun and planets and its moon. He was one of the first people to create the horoscopes, and although most of his theories had later been proved wrong, still, it had formed the foundation for future studies of certain matters.
4. Johannes Kepler. He was the German astronomer who founded the Kepler’s Law which verifies the three laws of the planetary motion.
5. Tycho Brahe. He was one of the astronomers who first calculated the astronomical measurement of our solar system and more than 700 other stars. When King Frederick II of Norway and the King of Denmark had offered him funds to be able to build an observatory, he gradually accepted and built one in 1576, the castel of Uranienborg, which literally means the fortress of heavens.
6. Edwin Hubble. He discovered that some of the nebulae in the night sky were in fact separate and unique galaxies far distant from our own Milky Way. His discovery dramatically increased the perceived size of the universe. The Hubble Space Telescope is named after him.
Amateur astronomers like to know the history of astronomy and keep abreast of the latest events and discoveries and, fortunately, there are websites that are specifically dedicated to providing astronomy news. Newspapers also sometimes include sections dedicated to science news. And, of course, there are always the astronomy magazines to peruse.
Astronomy News, Astronomy News