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 "Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another."
– Plato
 "Astronomy's much more fun when you're not an astronomer."
– Brian May

For the civic in Path to Nirvana, see Astronomy (civic) (Civ6).

Astronomy is a Renaissance Era technology in Civilization VI. It can be hurried by building a University adjacent to a Mountain.


Astronomy is the "big brother" of Astrology - or rather, its serious brother. While astrology uses a mixture of facts and faith which is applied to celestial bodies, astronomy uses only science. And telescopes. Thanks to it, man discovers that his planet is not the center of the universe. And despite the fact that astronomy proves unable to provide any immediate military or economic benefits, it does something much more important: it proves that man has been deluding himself when it comes to some of the most important facts in nature. And this opens the way to true science, which in turn will make possible all modern technology.

The only thing Astronomy unlocks is the Potala Palace, a rather powerful wonder for a diplomatic game. However, you can delay researching this technology if this is nothing you fancy building, unless you're aiming for another with Astronomy as its prerequisite.

Civilopedia entry[]

If one stares into the night sky long enough, one discovers astronomy (or if none too bright, astrology – but that's another topic). Up to the Renaissance, astronomy as the study of objects in space was neither a science nor particularly studious; until, that is, Nicholas Copernicus published his heliocentric theory of the solar system in 1543 AD. His work was defended, corrected and expanded by Galileo Galilei using that new wonder, the telescope. A key figure in the “Scientific Revolution,” Johannes Kepler next devised a mathematical system that detailed the motions of the planets; a few decades later, Newton worked out the mechanics with his development of celestial dynamics and the laws of gravitation, using the reflecting telescope he invented.

Significant advances in astronomy have usually come with the introduction of new technology; it helps to be able to see things larger, farther away or in other spectrums when studying infinity. Better and better telescopes allowed William Herschel to create a detailed catalogue of nebulas and clusters, and to “discover” the planet Uranus in 1781. The German Friedrich Bessel managed to measure the distance to a star (61 Cygni) in 1838 for the first time. The spectroscope and photography thrust astronomical knowledge ahead, notably when scientists realized that other stars were similar to the sun in composition – just with a wide range of masses, temperatures and sizes.

But it wasn't until the early 20th Century that astronomers finally realized that our system was part of a galaxy, the “Milky Way,” and that there were lots of other galaxies floating about. And in between these galaxies were all sorts of exotic things – quasars, pulsars, blazers, radio galaxies, black holes, neutron stars, and such – discovered with esoteric types of telescopes, and even some that orbit the Earth in space where all that man-made pollution doesn't interfere with studiously observing the night sky.

Civilization VI Technologies [edit]
Ancient Animal HusbandryArcheryAstrologyBronze WorkingIrrigationMasonryMiningPotterySailingWheelWriting
Classical Celestial NavigationConstructionCurrencyEngineeringHorseback RidingIron WorkingMathematicsShipbuilding
Medieval ApprenticeshipButtress GS-Only.pngCastlesEducationMachineryMilitary EngineeringMilitary TacticsStirrups
Renaissance AstronomyBankingCartographyGunpowderMass ProductionMetal CastingPrintingSiege TacticsSquare Rigging
Industrial BallisticsEconomicsIndustrializationMilitary ScienceRiflingSanitationScientific TheorySteam Power
Modern ChemistryCombustionElectricityFlightRadioRefining GS-Only.pngReplaceable PartsSteel
Atomic Advanced BallisticsAdvanced FlightCombined ArmsComputersNuclear FissionPlasticsRocketrySynthetic Materials
Information CompositesGuidance SystemsLasersNanotechnologyNuclear FusionRoboticsSatellitesStealth TechnologyTelecommunications
Future GS-Only.png Advanced AIAdvanced Power CellsCyberneticsFuture Tech*Offworld MissionPredictive SystemsSeasteadsSmart Materials
* Future Tech is an Information Era technology until the Gathering Storm expansion.