Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


An astronomer or astrophysicist is a scientist whose area of research is astronomy or astrophysics. Historians often argue that ancient astronomers were priests and that this duality led to the rise of astrology.

Unlike most scientists, astronomers cannot directly interact with the celestial bodies, and so instead must resort to detailed observation in order to make discoveries. Generally, astronomers use telescopes or other imaging equipment to make such observations.

Famous Astronomers

Astronomer Contribution
Hipparchus and Ptolemy Determined the positions of about 1,000 bright stars, tried to explain the puzzles of astronomy without refuting the commonly believed geocentric model of universe and classified stars by magnitude.
Aristarchus First known person to propound the heliocentric model of universe
Nicolaus Copernicus Reitererated the heliocentric model of universe.
Galileo Galilei Was the first to use the telescope to observe the sky.
Johannes Kepler Suggested the elliptical orbits.
Isaac Newton Used laws of gravitation and motion to predict exact orbits of planets.
Edwin Hubble Discovered the expansion of the universe. (Hubble%27s_Law).

See also

There is also a well-known painting by Johannes Vermeer titled The Astronomer, which is often linked to Vermeer's The Geographer. These paintings are both thought to represent the growing influence and rise in prominence of scientific enquiry in Europe at the time of their painting, 1668-69.