9 People Who Don't Seem to Understand Astronomy

Social media is a gateway to hell at the best of times, but it does provide some comedy gold every now and then.
Christopher McFadden

As you are about to find out, there appear to be a fair few people who don't seem to understand some basic astronomical facts and concepts. Either they didn't pay attention in school, or simply have little or no interest in the subject.

Whatever the truth might be, it makes for some pure comedy gold for the rest of us at times.


What is the difference between astronomy and astrology?

While both disciplines are dedicated to the study of the heavens, there is a distinct and very important difference between the two. One is true science, while the other is more closely related to spirituality and metaphysics.

"Astronomy is the study of the universe and its contents outside of Earth's atmosphere. Astronomers examine the positions, motions, and properties of celestial objects. Astrology attempts to study how those positions, motions, and properties affect people and events on Earth." - Sky and Telescope

Interestingly, the two fields were once one-in-the-same thing for many centuries until astronomy crystalized into a true objective scientific discipline during the "Age of Reason." 

What is the importance of astronomy?

Astronomy, like any scientific discipline, is important in the fact that it seeks to satisfy our inherent curiosity with the workings of the heavenly bodies. Not only that, but it helps us put our planet in perspective with the rest of the universe.

It, in effect, is a means for mankind to answer the "big" questions about the origins of life, the universe and, well, everything! Astronomy has also furnished mankind with some very important Earthside technological developments.

In the long run, it might be thanks to the findings of astronomy that mankind can one day begin to colonize other worlds throughout the solar system and beyond. This could be the springboard to the start of a galaxy-spanning human expansion away from Earth.

If achieved, it would almost certainly guarantee the survival of our species into the distant future. But time will tell if our species has got what it takes.

7 examples of people who don't understand astronomy

And so, without further ado, here are 9 examples of absolutely stunning astronomical knowledge failures. Unfortunately, it pains us to report that this list is far from exhaustive.

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It is also in no particular order.

1. When astronomy-based flattery gets you nowhere

astronomy fails compliment
Source: failblog.cheezburger/unknown

This poor chap thought he was being clever, but his well-intentioned compliment appears to have backfired. After comparing his significant other to a star, the retort was less than satisfactory. 

A shame really as the sentiment was actually pretty romantic, on the surface. Clearly he didn't expect the recipient's knowledge of astronomy. 

Nice try sunshine. 

2. When astronomy truth can crush your dreams

astronomy fails nihilism
Source: failblog.cheezburger/unknown

It's never a bad time to post nihilistic messages to spoil everyone's day. This astronomy-based one is a very good, and witty example if it's a little joy-destroying.

Yet despite the clarity of thought in the message, there is always someone around who sees the brighter side. This chap's solution to the cold hard truths of the universe is to simply ignore it.

A fantastic and effective strategy. Of course, it could be in jest -- we will never know for sure!

3. This couple must be immortal

astronomy fails anniversary
Source: failblog.cheezburger/unknown

In a striking show of a lack of understanding of basic astronomy, this chap's attempt at a science-inspired romantic message fails spectacularly. He appears to believe that a single day on Earth equates to an orbit around the Sun.

Interesting perspective and one that is, of course, completely wrong. In fact, for his statement to be true, he and his significant other would have to be a couple of immortals. 

Plus, that would be one incredibly long anniversary by normal standards. Amazing astronomical fail. 

4. Science-based sarcasm is simply the best

astronomy fails sun tan
Source: dakota2000/Reddit

In another show of a spectacular lack of understanding of basic astronomy, this person might need to go back to school. To be fair, given the dryness of the response to their question, they might not be expecting sarcasm.

However, it would only take a little bit of thought to put 2 and 2 together, right? Either that or they need some more coffee?

But there is definitely the possibility that they genuinely didn't understand that sunlight is actually a source of UV light.

5. This person appears to have been born a few millennia late

astronomy fails geocentrism
Source: catzrock333/Cheezeburger

In yet another disastrous display of astronomical basic knowledge, this person has decided to openly flaunt their ignorance. If this is genuine, and we really hope it isn't, then we wonder how this person has actually survived for this long.

Surely, they must have read a book, or watched a documentary on how the solar system works at some point? Simply stunning. 

6. This guy has a fair point...

astronomy fails europa
Source: jolienemarie/Cheezburger

While not technically an astronomy-fail, this comment does raise some interesting questions. If we do find life on Europa what would we end up calling them?

As Sam points out the natural construction would be Europeans, but since that's already taken it could get a bit confusing. Of course, Sam recognizes the fact and has decided to be a little playful.

False alarm, our apologies Sam. 

7. Astrology and astronomy are the same thing aren't they? 

astronomy fails lightyear
Source: failblog.cheezburger/Unknown

Check out this pièce de résistance of astronomy fails. It seems this girl just wants to see the world burn.

After being corrected about the difference between a lightyear and an Astronomical Unit, this little madam exposes the true extent of her astronomical ignorance.

"When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging" as the famous adage goes. To be fair, she could've misspoken but given her confusion between the speed of light and the distance between the Sun and Earth, we very much doubt it. 

Never have we seen such a clear example of being unconsciously incompetent of a subject.

8. Another astronomy-based compliment that fails miserably

astronomy fails not at all
Source: shoeflygabs/Reddit

There appears to be a running theme with romantic gestures and a poor grasp of astronomy. Here is another prime example. 

As nice and romantic as it may seem on the surface, once you think about it this could be taken as a very serious insult. In effect, you could take this to mean they don't need you at all!

Charmed I'm sure!

9. There might be a reason this hasn't yet been attempted!

astronomy fails trees on mars
Source: failblog.cheezburger/Unknown

And finally, this wannabe Elon Musk has a very simple answer for terraforming Mars! Or so they believe.

But in fairness, the concept of putting atmospheric converters is sound in principle, in practice, the use of living trees from Earth is not going to end well (for the trees, that is).  

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