Two differences between astronomy and astrology

This, despite the fact that current horoscopes rely on outdated information! Planets have nothing to do with it. But that's not the point. If you want to get through to your believing sister-in-law or your uncle in Cincinatti, the way to do it is not to argue physics or astronomy, but to explain why astrology works. I tell this with my own story. When I was in elementary school, I practiced a form of divination that you could call bazookamancy.

Back then, Bazooka Joe bubble gum was popular.

Astronomy vs. Astrology: What’s the Difference?

It came wrapped in a little comic strip about Bazooka Joe and his gang. The wrappers were on the ground wherever kids littered. As everyone knew, when you saw one, you stopped and asked it a question. Then you picked it up and read it. If you're interested in the solar system and the planets, other celestial objects like asteroids and comets, other galaxies and the rest of the universe, what makes up space, and the possibility of alien life or space travel, astronomy is the field you're considering.

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In the 10th century, Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi created a star catalog with each star position, magnitude, and color. The catalog includes the draws of constellations and the description of a small cloud. We now know that this cloud is the Andromeda Galaxy. It is likely that others had recorded Andromeda earlier.

Ali Ibn Ridwan observed a temporary star in It is now known as SN , the brightest supernovae ever recorded. He observed series of meridian transits of the Sun. This allowed al-Khujandi to calculate the tilt of the Earth with higher precision than his predecessors. The Arabs also introduced the exacting of empirical observation and experimental technique.

Certainly a big step for science as we know it today. In the 11th and following centuries, astronomy was separated from the Natural Philosophy as imposed by Aristotle over 1, years earlier. Arabs started Astronomical Physics, or what is now known as Astrophysics. We have clear records of astronomy in Roman times which stopped around 4th century and it has been thought that did not change until 12th century when Arabic books were discovered and brought to Europe.

One of the problems was that most of the astronomy documents available at the time were written in Ancient Greek and that language was lost by that time. With time, those texts were translated to Latin which was what intellectuals at the time could read. At first, the most useful texts were translated, such as determining the day of the year and the time at night.

By the 9th century, astronomers were interested again in calculating the position of the planets. This interest was in part due to the financing offered by the Emperor Charlemagne to research old libraries about Romans Astronomy. Interestingly enough, the astronomer of the 9th century found quite a few mistakes in the equations but still spread the word because these calculations were much better than nothing. In the 10th century, Gerbert of Aurillac went to Spain and Sicilly, which at the time were controlled by the Arabs. He learned of similar documents used to keep track of the calendar and time during the day and night.

This is around the time the Astrolabe that the Arabs had for a while made its entry in Western Europe. Now we use computers which are much better, faster, way more accurate, but back then using an Astrolabe was way faster than doing all the math all over again an Astrolabe was like an advanced ruler. This generated a large number of documents on how to build an Astrolabe and ways to validate when eclipses will occur.

With two century, most of the Arabic knowledge was translated in Latin and entering these new places called Universities. The 14th and 15th centuries had various thinkers, such as Nicole Oresme and Nicholas of Cusa, that offered to move away from Aristotle thinking that the Earth was the center of the Universe. That only the heavens stars were fixed.

Astrology vs. Astronomy: Why Only One Is Considered Science

Nicolaus Copernicus is the first who reintroduced the heliocentric system but this time it was done with a large book, De Revolutionibus , which described the planetary system mathematically. This was based on work from before Ptolemy and used newer advancement in mathematics of the day. Galileo was one of the first who used telescopes to observe our solar system. This powerful device for the time allowed him to discover:. The phases of Venus were one of the reasons Galileo insisted on the fact that the solar system was heliocentric and not centered around the Earth.

The only way that Venus could have phases as observed by Galileo was if Venus and the Earth were both turning around the Sun. Although Galileo insisted that he was the one who discovered sunspots, he merely re discovered them. Sunspots were first mentioned in I Ching, c.

What Will Scientists Discover Next?

Back in Europe Theophrastus also mentioned sunspots around the same time as the Chinese. In the 9th Century, Arabs and Europeans made notes of those too… so Galileo did not discover sunspots even if some history documents still say he did. That being said, Galileo was the one who was right when he write that the sunspots where part of the Sun and not natural satellites. Especially, when looking at the spots on the edges of the Sun, they would be very thin, whereas a satellite would keep the same circumference.

He also used geometry to show that it makes sense that the spots would accelerate and slow down or grow and shrink if they are on the surface of the Sun. This is also where Galileo went further and said that these sunspots were yet another reason to doubt the orthodox Aristotelian celestial physics, which posited that celestial objects were of unchanging perfection.

We now know that at some point stars explode on their own weight creating supernovae and later a white giant, a neutron star, or in case of really large stars, a black hole. As the renaissance started to wane, Johannes Kepler worked on ways to mathematically explains the movements of planets.

We already had qualitative movements figured out since Aristotle in his Metaphysics and On the Heavens treatises , but those calculations were determine from observations, not properties of the concerned celestial objects. This is when Kepler found the three laws of planetary motion, which now carry his name.

Isaac realized that the force holding the Moon in place was the same as the one pulling an apple to the ground of the Earth. First of all, they knew better hmmm.

Astrology vs Astronomy: What's the Difference? | Sky & Telescope

Not only that, they had their own philosophy on the matter. Not to mention that the math offered by Newton did not work quite right. Jupiter and Saturn would get off their track all the time unexplained perturbations. In , the French Academy of Sciences offered a reward to whomever would be able to explain why the two large planets wobbled. Euler and Lagrange eventually resolved that problem: Uranus, which was observed in Uranus also had some perturbations which led to the discovery of Neptune.

The gap between Mars and Jupiter was found to include asteroids. We found Ceres and Pallas in This is around the time that the new astronomy concepts reached the Americas Until then, Aristotle was still very much what was used on the other side of the Atlantic. In the 19th century, we finally understood the prism of colors and started decomposing light from the Sun and found out that some colors were missing. Compared with experiences on Earth, we found that certain gases here would block the same light as the Sun.

These gases were hydrogen and helium. It is only once we discovered quantum physics that we got an explanation for light decomposition. We have since used color decomposing to find that space included a lot of different matter including sugars. On the 19th and 20th century, we also started seeing women enter the Astronomy field.

Although most all? Their work included:.

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