Astronomical Instrument

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Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO)

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Observational astronomy is a division of astronomy that is concerned with recording data about the observable universe, in contrast with theoretical astronomy, which is mainly concerned with calculating the measurable implications of physical models. It is the practice and study of observing celestial objects with the use of telescopes and other astronomical instruments.

Galileo Galilei turned a telescope to the heavens and recorded what he saw. Since that time, observational astronomy has made steady advances with each improvement in a variety astronomical instruments and related methods. — Wikipedia

Observational Astronomy (Eric Weisstein’s World of Astronomy, Wolfram Research)
Observatories & Telescopes (Wolfram Alpha)
Encyclopædia Britannica

Astronomical Instruments, Category (Wikipedia)
Astronomical Instruments, List (Wikipedia)




Galileo and the telescope (The Science Geek)
The History of Astronomy (Ask an Astronomer, Cornell University)


Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum


WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library




Telescopes (NASA.Gov)
Observational Astronomy (Ask an Astronomer, Cornell University)
Telescopes (Ask an Astronomer, Cornell University)
Telescopes (Cosmos4Kids)


Crash Course Astronomy (YouTube)

OER Commons: Open Educational Resources



Careers in Astronomy (Ask an Astronomer, Cornell University)


Sky & Telescope, ScienceDaily,, NPR Archives







Acapella Science (YouTube Channel)


More News …

Celestial News & Events – Sky & Telescope The essential guide to astronomy

  • This Week's Sky at a Glance, June 24 – July 2
    by Alan MacRobert on June 24, 2022 at 9:12 am

    The crescent Moon returns to the evening, crossing Leo. The five-planet lineup continues at dawn; catch it while you still can. And for skywatchers at northern latitudes, we're entering noctilucent cloud season. The post This Week's Sky at a Glance, June 24 – July 2 appeared first on Sky & Telescope.

  • Solar System Gets its Ducks in a Row
    by Bob King on June 20, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    We'll have not one but many opportunities to enjoy a rare lineup of the bright planets over the next few weeks. Amazingly, they'll be aligned in order of their distance from the Sun. The post Solar System Gets its Ducks in a Row appeared first on Sky & Telescope.

  • This Week's Sky at a Glance, June 17 – 25
    by Alan MacRobert on June 17, 2022 at 9:07 am

    The five naked-eye planets form a diagonal line in the dawn this week — in order of their distance from the Sun, no less. And the waning Moon visits each one in turn, day by day. The post This Week's Sky at a Glance, June 17 – 25 appeared first on Sky & Telescope.

  • This Week's Sky at a Glance, June 10 – 18
    by Alan MacRobert on June 10, 2022 at 9:09 am

    The waxing gibbous Moon shines with Spica, then occults Delta Scorpii. Meanwhile, all seven planets other than Earth are forming into a diagonal line across the east to southeast at dawn. The post This Week's Sky at a Glance, June 10 – 18 appeared first on Sky & Telescope.

  • Tau Herculid Meteors Surprise and Delight
    by Bob King on June 8, 2022 at 2:52 pm

    We touch on the highlights of the memorable Tau Herculid meteor shower and also report on the recent outburst of the recurrent nova U Scorpii. The post Tau Herculid Meteors Surprise and Delight appeared first on Sky & Telescope.

Space Telescopes News -- ScienceDaily Space Telescopes. Astronomy articles and pictures from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-Ray Telescope and many other leading astronomy institutes from around the world.

  • Arecibo observatory scientists help unravel...
    on June 23, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    Specifications from an asteroid that made headline news in 2019 because it appeared to come out of nowhere and was traveling fast has just been published.

  • Scientists map sulfur residue on Jupiter's icy...
    on June 22, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    A team has used the Hubble Space Telescope to observe Jupiter's moon, Europa, at ultraviolet wavelengths, filling in a 'gap' in the various wavelengths used to observe this icy water world. The team's near-global UV maps show concentrations of sulfur dioxide on Europa's trailing side.

  • Mysterious 'blue blobs' reveal a new kind of star...
    on June 16, 2022 at 11:47 pm

    Astronomers identify a new class of stellar system. They're not quite galaxies and only exist in isolation.

  • Watching the death of a rare giant star
    on June 16, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    Extreme supergiant stars known as hypergiants are very rare, with only a few known to exist in the Milky Way. By tracing molecular emissions in the outflows around the red hypergiant star VY Canis Majoris, astronomers obtained the first detailed map of the star's envelope, which sheds light on the mechanisms involved in the final stages of extreme supergiant star.

  • Dead star's cannibalism of its planetary system...
    on June 16, 2022 at 1:13 am

    The violent death throes of a nearby star so thoroughly disrupted its planetary system that the dead star left behind -- known as a white dwarf -- is sucking in debris from both the system's inner and outer reaches, astronomers report. - latest science and technology news stories internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

  • Studying galaxy growth spurts in the early...
    on June 27, 2022 at 9:03 pm

    In the American Wild West, high noon was a time for duels and showdowns. When it comes to the history of the universe, cosmic noon featured fireworks of a different sort. Some 2 to 3 billion years after the big bang most galaxies went through a growth spurt, forming stars at a rate hundreds of times higher than we see in our own galaxy, the Milky Way, today. When it launches by May 2027, NASA's Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope promises to bring new insights into the heyday of star formation.

  • Image: Hubble captures a galactic menagerie
    on June 25, 2022 at 10:25 am

    The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured this massive galaxy cluster, called Abell 1351, with its Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys. Abell 1351 lies in the constellation Ursa Major in the northern hemisphere.

  • Examining the supermassive black hole in our...
    on June 24, 2022 at 3:16 pm

    The supermassive black hole (SMBH) at our galaxy's core, Sagittarius A*, is modest in size with only 4.15 million solar-masses. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) recently released a dramatic submillimeter image of it as seen illuminated by its glowing environment. Many galaxies have nuclear SMBHs that are a thousand times bigger, for example the nucleus of M87, whose image was taken by the EHT in 2020. But SagA* is relatively close to us, only about twenty-five thousand light-years, and its […]

  • Arecibo observatory scientists help unravel...
    on June 23, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    When asteroid 2019 OK suddenly appeared barreling toward Earth on July 25, 2019, Luisa Fernanda Zambrano-Marin and the team at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico jumped into action.

  • The star that survived a supernova
    on June 23, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    A supernova is the catastrophic explosion of a star. Thermonuclear supernovae, in particular, signal the complete destruction of a white dwarf star, leaving nothing behind. At least that's what models and observations suggested.


Here are links to pages about closely related subjects.

Knowledge Realm


Law (Constant) Relativity
Force Gravity, Electromagnetism (Light, Color)
Matter (Microscope) Molecule, Atom (Periodic Table), Particle

Universe (Astronomical Instrument)
Galaxy Milky Way, Andromeda
Planetary System Star, Brown Dwarf, Planet, Moon

Our Neighborhood
Solar System Sun
Terrestrial Planet Mercury, Venus, Earth (Moon), Mars
Asteroid Belt Ceres, Vesta
Jovian Planet Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Trans-Neptunian Object
Kuiper Belt Pluto, Haumea, Makemake
Scattered Disc Eris, Sedna, Planet X
Oort Cloud Etc. Scholz’s Star
Small Body Comet, Centaur, Asteroid


1.   The resources on this page are are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma.