Our forefathers gazed at the skies to find explanations of heavenly events that appeared quite mysterious to them. The spirit of discovery and the fire within to crack the codes of all the puzzles that heavens have to offer is intrinsic to human nature itself. The start of the journey to explore the cosmos dates back thousands of years ago even before the dawn of civilization. In fact, the subject of Astronomy is not new but as old as the prehistoric times. Ancient astronomers were able to distinguish between planets and stars, as stars remain relatively fixed over centuries while planets move an appreciable amount during a comparatively short time. Early cultures identified celestial objects with gods and spirits. They related these objects and their movement to phenomena such as rain, drought, seasons, and tides.
The ancients detected different patterns of stars what we know today as Constellations. The search for explanations of heavenly phenomenon passed through
ages almost all over the world until the discovery of telescopes, when scanning the skies got a new dimension. Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), often regarded as the
father of observational astronomy, was one of the first astronomers to use a telescope to study the night sky.
Generations of struggle and exploration have led us to what we are today. Astronomers of this age are seeking for new, habitable places by scanning the cosmos to an unprecedented scale as our days on Earth are limited and the search for a new home is the need of the hour. Other facets of modern Astronomy include understanding the path of comets, asteroids, meteors and space junk; trying to figure out the physics of black holes; detecting supernovas, gamma ray bursts, neutron stars; study of planetary systems, different kinds of galaxies, nebula of deep space and many more.
All of this started way back in the prehistoric era. Thus, the study of Astronomy is justified with due credit to our ancestors and with
sufficient knowledge of our past.
No doubt we have come a long way but we need to go ahead much farther to ensure the eternal existence of the inhabitants of Earth. We shall strive to fabricate our own fate without surrendering to destiny.
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