A few days ago, I got my first telescope. It was a birthday present. It was a beginner set, so that inspired me to make this post. Today is all about astronomy.

Many people don’t actually understand what astronomy is and say that it is useless, but that’s just an excuse. Technically speaking, astronomy is the branch of science which deals with celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole. In layman’s terms, what that means is that astronomy is the field of science where people observe and study stars, galaxies, and planets to learn about their characteristics. There are two categories, optic astronomy, and astrophysics. Optic astronomy deals with observing the location of stars and their characteristics by observing them using telescopes, which is what we are going to talk about today, while astrophysics is about how matter and energy interact in space.

Optic astronomy has been around for a very, very long time. The first known record of it is all the way back in Ancient Greece, by Aristotle and Ptolemy. They hadn’t discovered lenses and glassworks, so they used their naked eye to try and observe stars. Hundreds of years later, in India, astronomers first used the rotations of the sun to devise the accurate calendar, which was 365 days long. In 499 AD, Aryabhata described the law of gravity, a millennium before Newton! In the 15 and 16th centuries, Hans Lippershey, a Dutch scientist, invented the telescope and everything changed. Then, a boom in optic astronomy occurred. A few major discoveries are:

a. Nicholas Copernicus stated that the earth revolved around the sun, instead of the heliocentric model.

b. Saturn got discovered

c. Newton publishes “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica”, establishing the theory of gravity and laws of motion officially.

Astronomers have discovered fascinating celestial objects using telescopes. Most telescopes are in desolate places, like Chile and Mauna Kea, due to light pollution. Light pollution is caused by cities emitting artificial light, which then bounces around in the air, disturbing the straight path of light from stars and galaxies, ruining the image.

The different types of telescopes, such as radio telescopes and ultraviolet telescopes are used to advance the field of optical astronomy. Light from celestial objects reaches Earth, and we can detect that using special telescopes when pointed into space. All of those telescopes have their own pros and cons like being mobile and automatic but they are big and have lots of expensive materials.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you want to learn more, you should get a telescope and enjoy the stars yourself.

Passionate about science in general, including Space, Biology and humanism