Outline of astronomy

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Mauna Kea in Hawaii is one of the world's premier observatory sites. Pictured is the W. M. Keck Observatory, an optical interferometer.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to astronomy:

Astronomy – studies the universe beyond Earth, including its formation and development, and the evolution, physics, chemistry, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects (such as galaxies, planets, etc.) and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth (such as the cosmic background radiation). Astronomy also intersect with biology, as astrobiology, studying potential life throughout the universe.

Nature of astronomy[edit]

Astronomy can be described as all the following:

Branches of astronomy[edit]

History of astronomy[edit]

Basic astronomical phenomena[edit]

Astronomical objects[edit]

Astronomical object

Solar System[edit]

The SunMercuryVenusThe MoonEarthMarsPhobos and DeimosCeresThe main asteroid beltJupiterMoons of JupiterRings of JupiterSaturnMoons of SaturnRings of SaturnUranusMoons of UranusRings of UranusNeptuneMoons of NeptuneRings of NeptunePlutoMoons of PlutoHaumeaMoons of HaumeaMakemakeS/2015 (136472) 1The Kuiper BeltErisDysnomiaThe Scattered DiscThe Hills CloudThe Oort CloudThe Sun, the planets, their moons, and several trans-Neptunian objects



Small Solar System bodies[edit]


  • Exoplanet (also known as extrasolar planets) – planet outside the Solar System. A total of 4,341 such planets have been identified as of 28 Jan 2021.
    • Super-Earth – exoplanet with a mass higher than Earth's, but substantially below those of the Solar System's ice giants.
    • Mini-Neptune – also known as a gas dwarf or transitional planet. A planet up to 10 Earth masses, but less massive than Uranus and Neptune.
    • Super-Jupiter – an exoplanet more massive than Jupiter.
    • Sub-Earth – an exoplanet "substantially less massive" than Earth and Venus.
    • Circumbinary planet – an exoplanet that orbits two stars.
    • Hot Jupiter – an exoplanet whose characteristics are similar to Jupiter, but that have high surface temperatures because they orbit very close to their parent stars, whereas Jupiter orbits its parent star (the Sun) at 5.2 AU (780×106 km), causing low surface temperatures.
    • Hot Neptune – an exoplanet in an orbit close to its star (normally less than one astronomical unit away), with a mass similar to that of Uranus or Neptune.
    • Pulsar planet – a planet that orbits a pulsar or a rapidly rotating neutron star.
    • Rogue planet (also known as an interstellar planet) – a planetary-mass object that orbits the galaxy directly.

Stars and stellar objects[edit]


Variable stars[edit]


Black holes[edit]

Artist's representation of a black hole.


The 88 modern constellations[edit]

Constellation history[edit]

The 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy after 150 AD[edit]
The 41 additional constellations added in the 16th and 17th centuries[edit]
Obsolete constellations including Ptolemy's Argo Navis[edit]

Clusters and nebulae[edit]



Space exploration[edit]

See: Outline of space exploration


Public sector space agencies[edit]

Space agencies

North Africa[edit]
North America[edit]
South America[edit]
East Asia[edit]
Southeast Asia[edit]
South Asia[edit]
Southwest Asia[edit]
Central Asia[edit]

1 Preceded by the Soviet space program

Books and publications[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "astrophysics". Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Retrieved 2011-05-22.

External links[edit]