Astronomy is the study of the heavenly bodies. It is based on the belief that the position and movement of the stars influence our daily lives. Astronomy, to this day, is considered a science. (Moulton 77).
Astronomy began with philosophers and their theories. Pythagoras was the earliest known Greek astronomer. He developed the concept of the earth as the center of the universe. Ptolemy rejected Pythagoras" theory, and claimed that the sun was the center of our universe. Hipparchus created a theory based on the geometry of circles. He believed that the sun and moon moved around Earth in a circle, and the Earth was not the center of the universe. Ptolemy was the most influential philosopher during 100 A.D. He accepted Hipparchus's theory, and then preceded to expand on it. He believed that the orbits were interlocking circular orbits. Brahe had a theory that the sun revolved around the earth, and that the other planets revolved around the sun. Copernicus made all of these theories clear, and then stated that the sun was the center of our universe. Kepler believed that other planets existed, and that they orbited the sun. (Daly 4).
Once these philosophers began developing theories, there became more ways to name, study, and make laws for our universe. Philosophers came up with the word "astronomy," based on Greek words of "astron," meaning star, and "nomos," meaning law. Astronomers theorized that planets were brighter than stars. Philosophers also found out that planets could not be plotted, because they were always in orbit. (Hamilton 24).
The Greeks" main contribution to astronomy was their effort to explain what they saw. They did more than observe and record the movements of the heavenly bodies. They also wanted to understand why and how these bodies moved in such an orderly and predictable way. This is how the Greeks transformed stargazing into a science. (Moulton 79).
Astronomy started to be used for many different things.