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Astronomy for Kids

Astronomy and the Solar System - Sun and the Planets
Credit: NASA
What is Astronomy?

Astronomy is the branch of science that studies outer space focusing on celestial bodies such as stars, comets, planets, and galaxies.

History of Astronomy

Perhaps one of the oldest sciences, we have record of people studying astronomy as far back as Ancient Mesopotamia. Later civilizations such as the Greeks, Romans, and Mayans also studied astronomy. However, all of these early scientists had to observe space with just their eyes. There was only so much they could see. With the invention of the telescope in the early 1600s, scientists were able to see much further objects as well as get a better view of closer objects like the moon and the planets.

Major Discoveries and Scientists

Galileo Galilei made major improvements to the telescope allowing close observations of the planets. He made many discoveries including the 4 major satellites of Jupiter (the Galilean moons) and sunspots.

Portrait of Galileo
Portrait of Galileo by Giusto Sustermans
Johannes Kepler was a famous astronomer and mathematician who came up with the planetary laws of motion that described how the planets orbit the sun.

Isaac Newton explained the physics behind the solar system using his laws of celestial dynamics and gravitation.

In the 20th century we are still making major discoveries in astronomy. These discoveries include the existence of galaxies, black holes, neutron stars, quasars, and more.

Fields of Astronomy

There are different fields in the science of astronomy. They include: Activities

Astronomy Crossword Puzzle
Astronomy Word Search
Take a ten question quiz about this page.

More Astronomy Subjects

The Sun and Planets
Solar System
Sun
Mercury
Venus
Earth
Mars
Jupiter
Saturn
Uranus
Neptune
Pluto

Universe
Universe
Stars
Galaxies
Black Holes
Asteroids
Meteors and Comets
Sunspots and Solar Wind
Constellations
Solar and Lunar Eclipse

Other
Telescopes
Astronauts
Space Exploration Timeline
Space Race
Nuclear Fusion
Astronomy Glossary

Science >> Physics





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