A lecture entitled Introduction to Astronomy was held yesterday at Al-Jasrah Cultural Club’s exhibit at the Doha International Book Fair. The lecture, which was given by Dr. Basheer Marzouq, professor of solar physics and member of the Qatari Astronomical Society, discussed the development of astronomy as an academic field. He explained that astronomy, unlike other academic fields, developed outside the academic establishment and universities. Astronomy evolved as a practice that played an important role in everyday life, as it helped people develop ways to tell the time, determine sowing and harvesting seasons, and navigating through deserts. From the early beginnings of astronomy, people realized and appreciated its value.
Dr. Marzouq added that astronomy evolved into a scientific field that studies all phenomena related to the universe and its evolution, the movement of celestial bodies used to determine time and calendars, and the physical and chemical structure of planets and stars through spectrometry techniques. He noted that, like other scientific fields, astronomy changed significantly over time in ways that helped change common misconceptions about it.
Dr. Marzouq also discussed how technological advances have aided in the development of astronomy. For example, scientists today can use advanced technologies to study galaxies, stars, nebulas, planets, moons, and asteroids. He drew attention to the role of astronomy in religious practices, as it helps tell the time and establish calendars for religious activities. He concluded by giving examples of cosmic phenomena, such as solar and lunar eclipses and the alignment of the moon and the plants.