Astronomy, which means "the study of the rules of the stars," is a natural discipline that investigates celestial objects and occurrences. It explains their genesis and evolution using mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Planets, moons, stars, nebulae, galaxies, and comets are among the objects of interest. Supernova explosions, gamma-ray bursts, quasars, blazars, pulsars, and cosmic microwave background radiation are all examples of relevant phenomena. Astronomy, in general, is the study of anything that originates outside of the Earth's atmosphere. Cosmology is an astronomical field that investigates the entire cosmos.

One of the oldest scientific sciences is astronomy. The night sky was meticulously observed by early civilizations throughout recorded history. The Babylonians, Greeks, Indians, Egyptians, Chinese, Maya, and many more ancient indigenous peoples of the Americas are among them. Astronomy used to comprise subjects as diverse as astrometry, celestial navigation, observational astronomy, and calendar making. Nowadays, professional astronomy is sometimes confused with astrophysics.

Professional astronomy is divided into two branches: observational and theoretical. The goal of observational astronomy is to collect data from observations of celestial objects. This data is then examined using fundamental physics concepts. The creation of computer or analytical models to describe celestial objects and events is the focus of theoretical astronomy. These two professions are mutually beneficial. Theoretical astronomy attempts to explain observational results, and observations are used to validate theoretical results.

Astronomy is one of the few fields in which amateurs actively participate. This is especially true when it comes to discovering and observing fleeting phenomena. Many major discoveries, like the discovery of new comets, have been made possible by amateur astronomers.

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