Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences. Many people have learned about the stars, the constellations and even the work NASA is doing in space. However, the history of astronomy is often overlooked.
Many web sites focus on various aspects of astronomy such as the constellations, the planets and mythology behind their names. Some focus on what NASA and other space organizations are doing in space and here on Earth. Few, however, focus on the history of astronomy; how we know what we know and who brought those facts and theories to light.
The University of California, San Diego Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences is one such site. Gene Smith has provided an astronomy tutorial; a brief history of astronomy. Information from Stonehenge to Newton is available as a introduction to the men (and women) of astronomy.
Here you can learn about Pythagoras, Aristotle, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton and more. You can educate yourself on the differences between the Ptolemaic and Copernican models of the solar system, find out about Keplers laws of planetary motion and inform yourself on the many discoveries of Galileo.
This brief history of astronomy is enough to give you the basics but if you crave more knowledge you can click on the many links distributed throughout the page. There are a variety of java applets and animated graphics to help you easily understand some of the many theories and facts behind the speculative topic of astronomy.
You can learn more about what is going on in space today by visiting The Lonely Astronomer.