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[sci.astro] General (Astronomy Frequently Asked Questions) (2/9)
Section - B.05 What's the difference between astronomy and astrology?

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Top Document: [sci.astro] General (Astronomy Frequently Asked Questions) (2/9)
Previous Document: B.04 What is the resolution of a telescope?
Next Document: B.06 Is there scientific evidence for/against astrology?
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Although astronomy and astrology are historically related and many
individuals were interested in both, there is today no connection
between the two.  Hence two different USENET newsgroups exist:
sci.astro (for the former) and alt.astrology (for the latter).  DO NOT
CONFUSE THEM.

Astronomy is based on the laws of physics (and therefore mathematics)
and aims at describing what is happening to the universe based on what
we observe today.  Because the laws of physics are constant (as far as
we can tell), astronomy can also explain how the universe behaved in
the past and can propose a limited number of possible scenarios for
its future (see FAQ entry about Big Bang).  Everyday life applications
of astronomy include calculations/predictions of sunrise/sunset times,
moon phases, tides, eclipse locations, comet visibility, encounters
between various celestial bodies (e.g., SL9 comet crash onto Jupiter
in 1994), spacecraft trajectories, etc.

Astrology on the other hand claims it can predict what will happen to
individuals (or guess what is happening to them), or to mankind, based
on such things as solar system configurations and birth dates.  Common
applications include horoscopes and such.  Regardless of whether there
is scientific support for astrology, its goal and methods are clearly
distinct from those of astronomy.

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Top Document: [sci.astro] General (Astronomy Frequently Asked Questions) (2/9)
Previous Document: B.04 What is the resolution of a telescope?
Next Document: B.06 Is there scientific evidence for/against astrology?

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM