Astronomy is the study of the universe and objects in it. And is perhaps the oldest science, dating from early observation of the heavens, astronomy has a long tradition. As stated in the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, modern astronomy uses techniques from many other sciences, including physics, mathematics, chemistry, geology, and biology. The astronomers' point of view, however, is often different from that of scientists in other disciplines, because the goal of astronomical research is to understand celestial objects or groups of objects by using whatever techniques are appropriate. Astronomers' breadth of knowledge of different types of astronomical objects often gives insights into understanding any given object or process.
The distinction between astronomy and astrophysics has largely evaporated. As stated in the McGraw-Hill Multimedia Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, the older view that astronomers study objects in the sky as astrophysicists seek to explain then has been superseded. The new broadening of astronomy is illustrated by the use of chemical knowledge and methods in studying molecules in interstellar clouds; the use of geological knowledge an