How is astrology related to biology?

Observatory on La Palma, the astronomical observatory on Roque de los Muchachos

The astronomy (Greek στρονομίαastronomía “Observing the Stars”, from ἄστρονástron "Star" and νόμοςnómos "Law") is the science of the stars. She uses scientific means to investigate the properties of objects in the universe, i.e. celestial bodies (planets, moons, asteroids, stars including the sun, star clusters, galaxies and galaxy clusters), interstellar matter and the radiation occurring in space. In addition, she strives for an understanding of the universe as a whole, its formation and structure.

Although it is only taught in a few schools, astronomy and its research results are met with a great deal of public interest; as an amateur astronomy, it is a widespread hobby. On the one hand, this has to do with the “uplifting” impression that the starry sky makes even when observed from the open, on the other hand with its thematic diversity, the touch of philosophical questions and the connection to space travel.

Astronomy is not to be confused with astrology (Greek ἀστρολογία astrología "Star interpretation").

History of astronomy

Astronomy is considered to be one of the oldest sciences. The beginnings of astronomy probably lie in the cultic worship of the heavenly bodies. In a millennia-long process, first astronomy and natural religion separated, later astronomy, meteorology and calendar calculation, and in the late Middle Ages then astronomy and astrology.[1] Essential milestones for our knowledge of the universe were the invention of the telescope about 400 years ago, which completed the Copernican revolution, and later in the 19th century the introduction of photography and spectroscopy. Since the middle of the 20th century, unmanned and manned space travel has given astronomers the opportunity to overcome the earth's atmosphere and observe it without its limitations, i.e. in all areas of the electromagnetic spectrum. In addition, for the first time there is the possibility to visit the examined objects directly and to carry out measurements there other than purely observational measurements. At the same time, ever larger telescopes are being built for ground-based observations.

Areas of expertise in astronomy

Galaxy M51, the whirlpool galaxy

Astronomical science is generally divided according to the objects examined, and according to whether the research is theoretical or observational. Important basic subject areas are observational astronomy, the astrophysics, the Astrometry and the Celestial mechanicsTheir main areas of study are the physics of the solar system, in particular the Planetology, the Galactic astronomywho explored the Milky Way and its center, the Extragalactic Astronomy, which studies the structure of other galaxies and their active nuclei, or gamma-ray bursts as the most energetic processes in the universe, as well as the relativistic astrophysicsthat deals with black holes, for example. The Stellar astronomy examines the birth, evolution and death of the stars. The cosmology deals with the history and creation of the universe, while the cosmogony describes the history of our own solar system. The integration of many methods means that the Observational Astronomy divided less and less according to the wavelength ranges used (Radio astronomy, Infrared astronomy, Visual astronomy, Ultraviolet astronomy, X-ray astronomy and Gamma astronomy), because the research groups and (ideally) also the individual scientist can draw on information from all of these sources. The latest subject at the moment is Exoplanetology.

The narrower methods of classical astronomy are as Positional astronomy to explain the structure of the universe by means of astrometry and celestial mechanics and to catalog the celestial bodies (Star catalog, Ephemeris), and in the astrophysics to explore the physics of space and the objects in it. In addition, the Space travel as experimental astronomy and cosmology as a theoretical discipline.

Astronomy and other sciences

Planetary nebula M57, the ring nebula in the constellation Lyra

Physics and mathematics are very closely connected with astronomy; the subject areas have enriched each other many times and can also be seen as a unit in astronomy studies. In many cases the universe turns out to be a laboratory of physics, many of its theories can only be tested in its expanses and on hot, high-energy objects. Last but not least, the complex calculations of astronomy were the mainspring up to modern numerical mathematics and data processing.

The collaboration between astronomy and geodesy is traditional (Astrogeodesy, Location and time determination, reference systems, navigation), with the time and calendar calculation (Astronomical Chronology) as well as with the optics (development astronomical instruments and sensors). In terms of instruments and methods, there are also strong references to technology, space travel and mathematics (measuring devices, satellite technology, modeling of orbits and celestial bodies). Geodetic methods are also used to determine the gravitational field and the figure of other celestial bodies.

In the last few decades, the cooperation of astronomy with modern geology and geophysics has become more and more important, as the field of work of the geosciences has been combined with parts of the Planetology covers. Mineralogy analyzes the rocks of the earth using methods similar to those of other celestial bodies. The Cosmochemistry as part of chemistry studies the formation and distribution of chemical elements and compounds in the universe and the chemical evolution that Exobiology the circumstances of the origin and existence of life outside the earth.

Furthermore, there is increasing interdisciplinary research with originally more humanities-oriented scientific disciplines:
The history of astronomy as part of the historical sciences examines the History of astronomy. Buildings and finds from prehistoric times are increasingly interpreted in an astronomical context (Archaeoastronomy). Since astronomy is also part of the cosmology dealing with questions about the origin, development and end of the universe, there are also intersections with theology and philosophy.

See also

 Portal: astronomy - Overview of Wikipedia content on the topic of astronomy

  • astrophysics
  • Amateur astronomy
  • International Year of Astronomy 2009


Individual works

  • Albrecht Unsöld, Bodo Baschek: The new cosmos.ISBN 3-540-42177-7
  • Alfred Weigert, Heinrich J. Wendker, Lutz Wisotzki: Astronomy and astrophysics. A basic course. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim 2010, ISBN 978-3-527-40793-4.
  • Jeffrey Bennett et al .: Astronomy. The cosmic perspective (Ed. Harald Lesch), 5th, updated edition 2010. Pearson Studium Verlag, Munich, ISBN 978-3-8273-7360-1
  • Meyers Handbuch Weltall, guide through the world of astronomy. 1994 (7th, revised edition), ISBN 3-411-07757-3
  • P. Murdin (Ed.): Encyclopedia of Astronomy & Astrophysics. 2001, ISBN 0-333-75088-8 -
  • Brockhaus Astronomy: Planets, Stars, Galaxies. F. A. Brockhaus, Mannheim - Leipzig 2006, ISBN 3-7653-1231-2
  • Joachim Herrmann: dtv-Atlas Astronomie, 15th edition 2005. Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag Munich, ISBN 3-423-03267-7
  • Kurt Hopf: From earth to space - the universe in examples - Didactic material collection on CD-ROM for kindergartens, schools, observatories and planetariums, COTEC-Verlag Rosenheim
  • Harry Nussbaumer: The world view of astronomy. 2007, ISBN 978-3-7281-3106-5, 2nd, expanded and updated edition. vdf university publisher.
  • R.A. Freedman, W.J. Merchant: Universe. Freeman, NY 2004, ISBN 0-7167-9884-0
  • Arnold Hanslmeier: Introduction to astronomy and astrophysics. Spektrum Akad. Verl., Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-8274-1846-3
  • Hans-Ulrich Keller: Compendium of Astronomy. Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-440-11289-2


See also: Literature section under amateur astronomy

  • Stars and Space, monthly astronomy magazine
  • Sternenbote, Austrian monthly astronomy magazine
  • Interstellarum, 2-month magazine for practical astronomy
  • Astronomie + Raumfahrt, 2-month magazine for teaching, further education, leisure ISSN 0004-6310
  • Orion, 2-month journal of the Swiss Astronomical Society
  • Regiomontanusbote, quarterly publication of the Nuremberg Astronomical Society and the Nuremberg Astronomical Working Group, ISSN 0938-0205

Web links

Template: Commonscat / WikiData / Difference


Individual evidence

  1. ↑ cf. z. B. Ferenc Némethy: Astronomical and medical double fragment on Budapest. Examination of the Latin and German manuscripts in Codex 19167 / S.91 of the Semmelweis Library for the History of Medicine (with critical text edition), Würzburg 1998 (= Würzburg medical-historical research, 26)