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The Carina Nebula. A nebula is a vast cloud of dust and gas. It is here that new stars begin to form. This image was captured by...Read More >>The Carina Nebula. A nebula is a vast cloud of dust and gas. It is here that new stars begin to form. This image was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, a powerful telescope that orbits 559 km (347 miles) above Earth.Space is everything that lies beyond the Earth's atmosphere, sometimes called the "heavens". This includes the Moon, the planets, the Sun, comets and asteroids, stars, black holes and galaxies. These are all known as "celestial objects". The study of celestial objects and how they came to exist is a science called astronomy. A person who studies astronomy is called an astronomer. The area of astronomy concerned with studying the Universe as a whole is called cosmology.


 
 

Astronomy

Astronomers of ancient Babylon, the city at the centre of a powerful empire in the 6th-7th centuries BC. They studied the stars...Read More >>Astronomers of ancient Babylon, the city at the centre of a powerful empire in the 6th-7th centuries BC. They studied the stars and planets and tried to work out their positions in relation to the Earth. They believed that the Earth was a flat disc floating in space on a cushion of air.Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences. Centuries ago, people used the positions of the stars to navigate across the seas, or to decide when was the best time to plant their crops. Early astronomers used only their eyes to observe the stars. They made maps of the constellations and calendars to work out the time of year. For many years, astronomers thought Earth was the centre of the Universe, and that the planets, Sun and other stars all went around it. 

Astronomy is not the same as astrology, which is the belief that the patterns the stars and the planets may affect human lives.

Q-files now has new sections specially written for younger readers. The subjects covered so far are: Living world, Earth, Science, Human body, Prehistoric life and Space.


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