Such discoveries are what make astronomy such an exciting field for scientists and many others—but you will explore much more than just the objects in our universe and the latest discoveries about them. We will pay equal attention to the process by which we have come to understand the realms beyond Earth and the tools we use to increase that understanding.
We gather information about the cosmos from the messages the universe sends our way. Because the stars are the fundamental building blocks of the universe, decoding the message of starlight has been a central challenge and triumph of modern astronomy. By the time you have finished reading this text, you will know a bit about how to read that message and how to understand what it is telling us.
Thumbnail: A photograph of galaxy NGC 6744, which might resemble the Milky Way. Image used with permission (CC BY-SA 3.0; http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1118a/)
Textbook content produced by OpenStax Astronomy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 license. The OpenStax College name, OpenStax College logo, OpenStax College book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the creative commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University. For questions regarding this license, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. "Download for free at http://cnx.org/contents/2e737be8-ea6...email@example.com."