The following is a concise, high-level list covering the scientific discipline of Astronomy.

  1. Astronomy (Greek = astron + nomos, literally, "law of the stars") is the science of celestial objects (e.g., stars, planets, comets, and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earth's atmosphere (e.g., auroras and cosmic background radiation).
  2. It is concerned with the evolution, physics, chemistry, and motion of celestial objects as well as the formation and development of the universe.
  3. Astronomical observations can be used to test fundamental theories in physics, such as general relativity.
  4. Theoretical astrophysics complements observational astronomy in that it seeks to explain astronomical phenomena.
  5. Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences.
  6. Astronomers of ancient Greece practiced a scientific methodology, and advanced observation techniques may have been known much earlier.
  7. Historically, amateur astronomers have contributed to many important astronomical discoveries, and astronomy is one of the few sciences where amateurs can still play an active role, especially in the discovery and observation of transient phenomena.
  8. Modern astronomy is not to be confused with astrology, the belief system that claims human affairs are correlated with the positions of celestial objects.
  9. Although the two fields share a common origin, they are fundamentally different: astronomers employ the scientific method, whereas astrologers do not.