Astronomy is an infinitely captivating subject and the oldest of the natural sciences. It is one of the few areas of science that amateurs can assist professionals and directly contribute to science.
As a science, astronomy began tens of thousands of years ago in ancient Mesopotamia. Later observations made by the ancient Chinese, Babylonians, and Greeks. They tracked the motion of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars across the night sky. It was important to know the position of the moon and sun throughout the year for planning agriculture and preparing for winter. They were the first to devise the seasons. Astronomy has since advanced into a complex study of the laws of nature which govern these phenomena.
Astronomy is however more than simply a mapping the motion of the stars, Moon and Sun. It is now the scientific study of the contents of entire Universe, stars, planets, comets, asteroids, galaxies, and space and time, as well as its history.
If you’re starting out and looking at the sky at night, the contents of this site will take you through what you can see at night as well as some equipment advice. The tutorials cover the types of objects you can see and also illustrate some basic astronomy concepts.