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Astronomy and astrology are concepts that deals with things related to the universe. Many centuries ago, astronomy and astrology were used interchangeably but they were later on separated and eventually declared to be entirely independent of each other. However, most people still think that astrology and astronomy is the same thing. Although the two practices have common history, their differences are as distinct as wheat and chaff. So, are you one of those people who get confused with these two terms? If yes, then today you have landed in the right place. In this article, we are going to tell you the difference between astrology and astronomy.
The difference between astronomy and astrology is minimal. Just what is the difference between. Is astrology the study of stars? Astrology is the study of galaxies, stars and their movements. Astrology is the scientific study of stars and other celestial bodies. Which is older astrology vs astronomy? Astronomy and astrology were inter connected before. Astrology VS Astronomy. Astrology was a part of mainstream science until recent centuries. In the 1600s, Isaac Newton verified the relationship between physical processes and how the celestial bodies affect each other. By doing so, he was able to prove universality of laws.
Astronomy is a branch of science that deals with space, celestial objects and physical universe as a whole. Astronomy mainly deals with the study of planets, their origins, future movement and their interrelationships. Astronomy uses scientific proof to affirm theories using the universe as it reference point. The science of astronomy is keeps developing continuously as space experts continue to make new discoveries about the universe. Astronomers mainly sturdy the motions, positions and properties and relationship of content outside the earth atmosphere such as stars, galaxies and planets.
Today astronomy is subdivided into different subject area including:
-Observing Astronomy – it examines heavily bodies based on radiation and particles that reach the earth
-Astrometry- It measure and calculate the movements and positions of the stars
-Astrophysics- it deals with the physical element heavily bodies
-Celestial mechanics – it deals with the movement of celestial bodies in relation to mathematical modeling and physical theories.
-Solar astronomy- it covers the most important star on the solar system, the sun.
-Physical cosmology- it deals with the study of the overall structure of cosmos which compromises of multiple galaxies
What is Astrology?
Astrology is the study of movement of relative positions of heavenly bodies that have influence on natural world and human affairs. Astrologers believe that the alignment of planet and stars affects the way events occurs on earth. Today, experts use astrology to generate expectations about future events and people personalities depending on where they were born. Astrology was part of mainstream science until the late 1600 when Isaac Newton demonstrated some physical processes on how heavily bodies affect each other. Isaac argued that the same law that make, say a mango fall from the tree also applies to the motions of celestial bodies. Since then experts started regarding astrology as pseudoscience.
1. Astronomy is a science while astrology is regarded as pseudoscience
Astronomy is regarded as a branch of science that deals with space, celestial objects and physical universe as a whole. It uses scientific proof to affirm theories using the universe as it reference point On the other hand, astrology as not demonstrated its effectiveness in controlled studies and has no scientific validity. It is therefore regardless as pseudoscience (statement, practices or beliefs that are claimed to be both factual but have no basis in scientific facts).
2.Astronomy focus on celestial bodies while astrology focus on how this position influence human behaviors
As mentioned before, astronomy is the scientific study of movement, position and properties of stars, moon and sun and the universe. On the other hand astrology focuses on how this position influences human behavior and destiny.
3.To become an astronomer, you need formal education while an astrologist does not require form education
Astronomers rely on strict and proven scientific methods to develop their theories and test predictions that they come up with. As such, to become an astronomer, you need to get a relevant degree and a postgraduate qualification from a recognized institution. On the other hand, there is no formal education required to become an astrologer in the United States. To become a certified astrologer, all that you need to do is learn for a mentor then you can get your skills tested by a professional organization.
4. Astronomy is subdivided into different subject area while astrology does not have subcategory
Astronomy is natural sciences that is subdivided into different subject areas including solar astronomy, planetary science, stellar astronomy, physical cosmology and Galactic and inter galactic astronomy. On the other hand, since astrology is considered as a pseudoscience, it does not have any subcategory.
–Below are some of the ways in which astrology and astronomy are similar
-Both of them have similar history. They both originated in the ancient world when people began to notice celestial objects. Although astrology and astronomy are very different for each other the both began in ancient times.
-They both involve the study of the universe
-Astrology considers 12 star constellations which is also part of astronomical observation. It is through the 12 start constellation where the 12 zodiac signs have been derived and named
-Both astrology and astronomy rely heavily on technology for accurate forecasting and projections.
-Before telescopes were invested, astrologers only recognized seven planets. However, after the invention of telescope, astrologist recognized the three additional planets including the Pluto, Uranus and Neptune.
Later on additional celestial objects were discovered including Chiron and Cere and have been adopted my modern astrologers. In fact, modern astrologers are considering including the newly discovered heavenly bodies on their reading. Astronomers also recognize the nine planets and other heavenly bodies discovered.
-Astrology recognizes an event known as the precession of the equinoxes which is referred to as axial precision by astronomers. The two terms mean the same thing and that is: the time when the equator passes through the center of the sun, a phenomenon that occurs twice a year
Astrology and astronomy are both very important fields. However, the two are not the same. Astronomy is a science that deals with the study of planets, their origins, future movement and their interrelationships and uses scientific proof to affirm theories.
On the other hand, astrology focuses on movement of relative positions of heavenly bodies that have influence on natural world and human affairs. The two have many things in common but are different from each other as discussed above.
They sound really similar so what’s the difference between Astronomy and Astrology? They’re both concerned with heavenly bodies too but the truth is the differences between Astrology and Astronomy are in fact ‘astronomical’ (pun intended).
The pragmatic science of celestial bodies is Astronomy. The positions, properties, and movements of stars, suns, galaxies, star clusters, planets and other systems are analysed and investigated in Astronomy.
On the other hand, the positions and movements of the celestial bodies and their influences on terrestrial events is the focus of investigation in Astrology.
Interestingly Astronomy original came from astrology, however over the years whilst astronomy developed into a rigorous field of physics, astrology stuck to its roots in ancient wisdom.
The ambition of Astronomy is to understand the structure and formation of the universe. Everything that lies beyond the earth’s atmosphere is the methodical study of astronomy.
The term astronomy came from the Greek termsAstron means (star) and nomos means (law).
On the other hand, the aim of Astrology is the study of motions, and the positions of stars and planets as a means to forecast future events and understand human behaviour, including people’s fate.
Astronomers look to the skies to study celestial bits and pieces such as moons, comets, planets, and galaxies. They also look at the processes concerned in celestial events such as solar storms, black holes and gamma-ray bursts.
Astronomers seek out the immensity of space for solar systems and exoplanets many light-years away.
However, it should be noted that even prehistoric astronomers recorded the positions of the stars. They used this information for map-reading purposes and also to guess the best time to plant their crops. One can see then why the distinction between astronomy and astrology was not very clear in ancient times.
On the other hand, the practice of astrology started in the use of calendar systems to prognosticate changes in the seasons and understand celestial cycles as messages from the gods.
The Chinese, Native American Indians and the Mayans developed sophisticated methods for studying the cosmos to forecast upcoming events.
These days, astrology is classically linked with horoscopes that are used to understand human behaviour and forecast vital individual events based on the position of the moons, stars, planets and other celestial substances.
In the early days of civilization, the Egyptians and the Mayansbuilt temples as observatories for mapping constellations, to support spiritual practice, and to verify the time of the year.
During these eras, astrology and astronomy were considered to be the same. Theories about movements of the sun were formed by prehistoric Greeks. The spherical shape of the earth was founded by Greek mathematician named Eratosthenes.
Even until a few hundred years ago, astrology enjoyed a place in scientific circles and was actually considered to be connected to astronomy, alchemy, medicine, and meteorology.
However, as scientific methodology advanced astrology found it more and more difficult to fit into it. Eventually, astrology was cast aside by science as being a ‘pseudo-science’.
This label has now become a derogatory slant on the integrity of astrology by people who try to view everything from a hyper-scientific lens.
Others, however, continue to practice astrology and see value in it as being one of the ancient wisdoms that we’ve relied on upon throughout our human history.
In the beginning, astrologers realised it took twelve lunar cycles to orbit around the sun, so they split the year into twelve constellations.
According to the weather and seasons, patterns were noted with certain star groups namely: Aries, Cancer, Virgo, Leo, Taurus, Libra, Sagittarius, Gemini, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, and Scorpio.
On the other hand, to further their understanding of the details of the universe and its genesis astronomers developed their own theories.
Theories like the Big Bang, Cosmic Inflation, Stellar evolution and spectroscopy. Even to this day, new technologies continue to help out astronomers to learn more and to work with other fields of study in order to explore far-away stars, nearby planets and other galaxies.
During World War II astronomy was revolutionised as additional observatories equipped with extra influential and enhanced telescopes were built. With the help of rockets, astronomers were able to accumulate telescopes on satellites that were launched into space.
Over time, with such experiments, astronomers have come to develop astronomy into an immensely technological field with many sub-branches.
On the other hand, in times of war and uncertainty, people begin to rely on astrology to better understand their lives and their place in the universe. Since antiquity, people have relied on astrology to gain insights into themselves and others including their strengths and careers, money, relationships, and weakness.
Despite humanity’s, technological advancements astrology continues to remain a steadfast field and some reports even indicate that it is increasing in popularity.
Astronomy is a multidisciplinary field, there are 17 sub-disciplines in total. Information is collected with the help of satellites and telescopes, it is then collated and theorised in order to generate a better picture.
On the other hand, astrology is also known as “mother of all sciences” because the central concepts of astrology are derived from theories that go beyond the realms of scientific study. As mentioned before it is even the mother of astronomy.
Many conceptual and material tools developed in the pursuit of astrology eventually did help in the conception and practice of science.
Astronomy is further divided into Stellar Astronomy, Solar Astronomy, Cosmology, Galactic Astronomy, Planetary Science, and Extragalactic Astronomy.
There are also two main branches of astrology. One is the classical or tropical astrology and the other is called sidereal astrology.
Astronomers say that the planet Saturn is an enormous globe of Hydrogen, and Helium surrounded by a ring of snowballs 50,000 km wide, and the Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is a giant storm perhaps ranging from millions of years.
On the other hand, astrologers see it as affecting human characters and fate. Jupiter represents a regal bearing and a gentle disposition. Whilst Saturn is seen as the gravedigger, mistrust, suspicion, and evil.
According to the Astronomers, Mars is a real place just like the Earth with coming up for exploration but the Astrologers see it as a great combatant, instigator of quarrel, distraction, and violence.
As you must have realised by now astrology gives qualitative adjectives to heavenly bodies whilst astronomy is more concerned with their quantitative aspects.
Since early time astrologers used the stars to calculate the accurate date, day, month, year and time. Historic astrologers also had the ability to estimate the time of the day through the use of a sundial.
A sundial had a flat surface marked with symbols and a rod in the centre. Depending on the position of the sun, the rod casts a shadow over numerous markings, which indicated the time of day.
Earlier than the 16th century, the practical science between the two was considered to be astrology. During that time Astronomy was mostly theoretical and referred to the act of classifying the stars.
Nonetheless, during the “Age of Reason” astronomy was no longer considered theoretical, but a genuine field of study.
Astrology and Astronomy were not always distinctive. The two traditions began to swerve in the mind of Johannes Kepler, and he discovered that a physical force lay behind the motion of planets. He would become the first real Astrophysicist and the last scientific astrologer.
These days, astronomy is considered one of the most valued sciences.
Many of history’s famous astronomers were also astrologers examples include Claudio Ptolomeo, Galileo Galilei, Pythagoras, Aristoteles, Hypatia of Alexandria and Thales of Miletus.
Whether or not Isaac Newton was secretly an astrologer is hotly debated.
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