Astrology vs Astronomy: What’s the difference?

Andreas Cellarius's illustration of the Ptolemaic System (17th century), which shows the solar system and signs of the zodiac with the Earth at the center.J. van Loon, National Library of Australia

Andreas Cellarius's illustration of the Ptolemaic System (17th century), which shows the solar system and signs of the zodiac with the Earth at the center.
J. van Loon, National Library of Australia

Though the practices of astrology and astronomy have common roots, there is an important distinction in astrology vs astronomy today. Astronomy is the study of the universe and its contents outside of Earth’s atmosphere. Astronomers examine the positions, motions, and properties of celestial objects. Astrology attempts to study how those positions, motions, and properties affect people and events on Earth. For several millennia, the desire to improve astrological predictions was one of the main motivations for astronomical observations and theories.

Astrology continued to be part of mainstream science until the late 1600s, when Isaac Newton demonstrated some of the physical processes by which celestial bodies affect each other. Since then, astronomy has evolved into a completely separate field, where predictions about celestial phenomena are made and tested using the scientific method. In contrast, astrology is now regarded as a pastime and a pseudoscience—though thousands of people around the world still invoke advice from astrologers and astrology publications in making important professional, medical, and personal experiences. (This, despite the fact that current horoscopes rely on outdated information!)

One thought on “Astrology vs Astronomy: What’s the difference?

  1. Hassan KamalHassan Kamal

    You Know, many Egyptians believe that Astronomy and Astrology are the same, and also believe that the Astrology is science and they rely on its predictions.

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