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Find out why astronomers rely on measurement units including the light year.
> Space and Beyond
Read all about our solar system including the sun, planets, moons, meteors and comets.
> Our solar system
Find out more about the patterns of stars which we call constellations.
> Read more
Learn more about the imaginary lines used for mapping the sky called the ecliptic.
> Sky mapping
Astronomy comes from the Greek word for "the classifying of stars."
Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences - the earth's earliest inhabitants knew something about the sky. They knew the sun gave them light and heat; they learned to measure time by the position of the sun and by the shape of the moon.
Early farmers watched for the change in seasons to know when to plant different crops. For many thousands of years many people believed that the Earth lay at the centre of the cosmos and that the heavens were the home of gods and other mythical creatures.
Today we know that the earth circle's our sun and that we are but one solar sytsem amongst many in one of the many galaxys of our universe. Humankind studies the night's sky with far reaching telescopes and sends probes to the distance edges of our solar system.
Our curiosity of our world and where we belong in it continues to drive our search for knowledge amongst the stars.