Astrology and astronomy have common roots and they both study the sky and celestial objects. But no matter how close these two studies are, there are fundamental differences between them. Astronomers investigate the properties and movements of celestial objects, the universe, and space. Astrology, in turn, is a study of how the celestial objects in the universe could influence our lives and the events happening on our planet. As you can see already in the astrology vs astronomy conversation, they are not quite the same. Then, let’s find out what are the other differences between them.
What is astronomy?
Astronomy is the study of the universe and the celestial objects in it. It belongs to natural sciences and seeks to uncover the mysteries behind phenomena that exist outside of our planet. Astronomers study planets, galaxies, stars, asteroids, comets, the Solar system, and much more. They also investigate processes in space like bursts of gamma rays or explosions of stars.
The science of astronomy dates back to ancient civilizations of the Mayans, Egyptians, and Greeks. But before the invention of the telescope, these cultures only observed the movements of the celestial objects they saw from the earth. Once the telescope was invented, people could take a look at objects located thousands of kilometers away from our planet.
If we were to explain astronomy in the most basic terms, it is the study of anything that lies beyond the atmosphere of the earth. There are astronomers who observe celestial objects and gather data. There are astrophysicists. And there are also those who analyze this data and develop models to study space phenomena.
Astronomy is a fascinating and widely respected science. It makes discoveries beyond our imagination possible, teaching us about our solar system, planets, and the universe. But besides that, astronomy also investigates the origins of our planet in the vast space of the Milky Way. Astronomers work with scientific data and rely on proven methods and theories in their research, which makes it a solid and legitimate science.
What is astrology?
Like astronomy, astrology studies celestial bodies, although in a very different way. Astrology is based around a belief that the position and the movement of the sun, the moon, the stars, and the planets have an effect on our personalities and destinies. Astrologers, as a result, make predictions about the future events in someone’s life and often even the planet in general. A lot of scientists are skeptical about astrology, thinking of it as a superstition and calling it pseudoscience. But there are actually many people who believe that planetary motion can determine people’s lives in one way or another.
Like astronomy, the origins of astrology go back thousands of years to ancient civilizations like the Mayans, Indians, and Chinese. These ancient cultures developed whole sets of systems to predict events from observing the movements of the stars and planets across the night sky. Long time ago, astrology was connected to astronomy and even alchemy, but questions about its validity came to life because of the lack of theoretical and experimental evidence.
Without a doubt, you must have heard about astrology before. How about things like Zodiac signs or horoscopes? Astrologers believe that the stars and the planets have control over a person’s destiny and the events to happen in someone’s life. They also believe that someone’s personality can be determined in many ways by the astrological sign they were born under. There is Western Zodiac, Chinese Zodiac, and many more symbols playing a role in your life based on the astrology beliefs.
Astrology vs Astronomy
Hundreds of years ago, the words astrology and astronomy were used interchangeably. But today, people place greater significance into the science of the stars themselves rather than the potential impact they can have on our lives. The reason why some people may get confused about the astrology vs. astronomy discussion is because they both study similar things. For an astrologer, it is also important to know a lot of information about celestial objects to understand their movement and make predictions.
There are many differences when it comes to astrology vs astronomy.
1. The things they study
In astronomy, the scientists observe celestial objects and phenomena in space. At the same time, astrologers focus more on the position and movement of these objects in space and make predictions about how they influence the lives of people on earth.
2. Their place in the world of science
Because of astronomy’s scientific roots and its usage of credible methods, it is a branch of science. Astrology, on the other hand, is considered to be a pseudoscience because there is no hard scientific evidence behind it.
3. Etymology of the words
Both astronomy and astrology are derived from the Greek word for star. For astronomy, “astro” signifies stars and “nomos” means regulation. For astrology, the second part, “logos,” translates as study. So, astrology is the study of stars, and astronomy is their law or regulation. This is yet another point which supports the scientific nature of astronomy vs astrology.
4. Method of working
In the astrology vs. astronomy debate, the astrologers of today do not verify their knowledge against the wisdom and traditions of ancient astrologers. Astronomers, on the other hand, verify all data they collect with the use of astrophysics.
5. Analytics vs. predictions
Another difference between astrology and astronomy is that astronomers do not make predictions like astrologers do. Both study celestial bodies, but astrologers look at the data while astrologers try to find connections between the present data and someone’s future. Astrology, as a result, places a more mysterious significance to the stars and planets in the universe.
So, as you can see, there are quite a few differences between astrology and astronomy. Now that you know about them, we hope it has become easier for you to distinguish between the two.