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The modern science of astronomy has its roots in the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, China, India, and Mesoamerica, where it interacted with religious traditions. Ancient astronomy was concerned primarily with the positions and motions of visible celestial bodies, whereas modern astronomy studies all bodies and matter in the universe, including also their compositions, histories, and destinies. In ancient societies, astronomical calculations were fundamental to the development of both calendars and astrology—the science and art of finding in the movements of heavenly bodies either predictions of, or causes for, human behavior and natural events on earth. However, the distinction of astronomy as a science and astrology as a divinatory practice is a modern one, as it is predicated on modern ideas of what constitutes ...

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