Difference between Astronomy and Astrology


Both astronomy and astrology are study fields that on the outside might seem similar; nevertheless, they are very different. Hundreds of years ago, they functioned together; astronomy was actually a consequence of astrology. Nowadays, astronomy is considered one of the most important sciences. In contrast, astrology has been left, according to some people, only for the ignorant and the hucksters. Both study stars and celestial bodies; however, astrology interprets their movements and positions as if they had influence over human affairs. Astronomy studies movements, phenomena and everything that’s outside of the Earth’s atmosphere from a scientific and academic approach.

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Definition Astronomy is the science that studies the Universe: celestial bodies, planets and their satellites, comets, meteorites, interstellar matter, stars, galaxies and anything related to everything outside the terrestrial atmosphere. Astrology, on the other hand, is the belief that celestial phenomena affect people’s lives and the way events occur all over the Earth. According to astrology, there is a parallelism between the stars (cause) and everything that happens within the Earth (effect).
Etymology The word astronomy comes from the Latin astronomía, which comes from the Greek ἀστρονομία. Astro means stars, while nomos means law, regulation. It literally means regulation of the stars, of heavenly bodies. Astrology is less ancient of a word than astronomy. Given that they both share the same Greco-Latin roots; they meant the same for a while and were used indistinctly. However, logos, from ἀστρολογία (astrology) means study, treaty. So, astrology literally means study of the stars.
History Astronomy has existed for as long as humans have been on Earth. Many, maybe even all, ancient civilizations felt curious about stars and dedicated long time to their observation, study and comprehension. The Chinese, Greeks, Egyptians, Mayans, Aztecs and Incas were only some of the best astronomers. Historically, astronomy started with cosmogony. Cosmogony used to try to explain the origin of the universe by religion and mythology. Astrology, per se, was born in ancient Egypt and Babylon. Back then, astrology was seen as a respectable science. Several times, astrologers would rather to use calculation and observation instead of divination and interpretation. After this time of prosperity, astrology began to be attacked both by religion and science, and it lost all of its credibility. It wasn’t until a few years ago, with the whole new age movement that astrology became relevant again.
Science wise Nowadays astronomy is one of the most respected sciences. It usually works along with physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics. It is considered a very hard career path, only made for a few. Astrology is considered a pseudoscience. It has never been validated by science, nor has it been accepted as a true science or an exact art.
Famous personalities Aristoteles, Thales of Miletus, Claudius Ptolomeo, Pythagoras, Hypatia of Alexandria, Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, and many others. Most astrologers are considered opportunistic and defamatory. However there are some famous astrologers, such as Rick Levine, Walter Mercado (for the Hispanic market), Robert Hand, etc.