Professional astronomy is split into observational and theoretical branches. Observational astronomy is focused on acquiring data from observations of astronomical objects. This data is then analyzed using basic principles of physics. Theoretical astronomy is oriented toward the development of computer or analytical models to describe astronomical objects and phenomena. These two fields complement each other. Theoretical astronomy seeks to explain observational results and observations are used to confirm theoretical results.
Image 8Amateur astronomer recording observations of the sun. (from Amateur astronomy)
Image 9An image of the Cat's Paw Nebula created combining the work of professional and amateur astronomers. The image is the combination of the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope of the La Silla Observatory in Chile and a 0.4-meter amateur telescope. (from Amateur astronomy)
The field is so small that only a few foreground stars in the Milky Way lie within it; thus, almost all of the 3,000 objects in the image are galaxies, some of which are among the youngest and most distant known. By revealing such large numbers of very young galaxies, the HDF has become a landmark image in the study of the early universe. (Full article...)
The International Space Station is photographed by an STS-134 crew member on the space shuttle Endeavour after the station and shuttle began their post-undocking relative separation. Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred on May 29, 2011.
21 August 2017 – NASA.gov conducts a broadcast of the total solar eclipse with more than 50 million views of the live broadcast, and almost 31 million unique views on Facebook before and after the eclipse