Stargazing in Tenerife. For astronomy and astrology are different things

Who hasn't made the mistake of confusing astronomy with astrology? Terms built from Greek or Latin word parts can be misleading.

Today, we wish to clear the doubts surrounding the confusion existing between what is astronomy and what is astrology, so you don’t mix them up and won’t be taken in when going to Tenerife to stargaze.

Astronomy and astrology: etymological origins

Do not worry.

We are not going to give a lecture on the etymological origin of the words astronomy and astrology, but it is necessary to give some broad strokes in order to understand where the confusion comes from.

The confusion between astrology and astronomy arises, primarily, not from the first part of the compound term ‘astro-’, which could not be any clearer, but from the second element ‘-nomy’ or ‘-logy’. This is why we have to take a look back and try to retrieve from memory those Latin and Greek classes we used to attend more or less lazily, depending on our interests.

The etymological origin of astronomy is Latin, which, in turn, got it from Greek. In fact, the word astronomy results from the combination of ‘αστρον’ (ástron, star) and ‘νομος’ (nómos), where ‘-nomy’ refers to a rule, law or science.

Therefore, according to the Dictionary of Spanish Language of the Royal Spanish Academy or DRAE, astronomy is: “The science that deals with heavenly bodies, their motions and the laws that govern them.”

And what about astrology? Where does this term stem from and what does it mean exactly?

The etymological origin of astrology is Greek, which is to be expected at this point. Like the word astronomy, astrology is a compound term, which shares with astronomy the root ‘αστρον’ (ástron, star), yet followed by ‘λογία’ (logía), where ‘-logy’ refers to a study or treaty.

Isn’t it confusing? Although it could seem that astrology deals with the formal study of the stars, the truth is that astronomy is the one holding the title of science, and not astrology.

In fact, the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy defines astrology—in contrast to astronomy—as follows: The study of the position and motions of the celestial bodies as a means to predict the future and know the character of individuals.

As a final twist, the DRAE dictionary mentions astronomy as an obsolete synonym for astrology.

So now you know why it is sometimes so complicated to understand the difference between astronomy and astrology. We hope that you will never forget it.

Stargazing in Tenerife: the best way to understand astronomy

Now that we have cleared the doubts surrounding the eternal confusion between astronomy and astrology, we would like to formally invite you to enjoy astronomy in Tenerife in person

You have probably noticed that at night, the sky of Tenerife takes on a life of its own under the pure and clear sky of the Teide National Park, the most visited National Park in Europe, which has received from the Starlight Foundation the Starlight certificate that guarantees the quality of its sky for stargazing.

More information on the astronomical observations on Teide experience

Reasons why stargazing in Tenerife is something you should do once in your life

These are some of the reasons why you cannot die without having seen the star show in Tenerife:

  • For the sky of the Teide National Park is not polluted: neither by light nor by the thick layer of smoke that blankets the cities, which is known as smog.
  • For it is estimated that there are a total of 14,000,000,000 stars in our galaxy (the Milky Way alone consists of about a hundred thousand million stars).
  • For in summer, we have two great celestial shows: the Milky Way and the Summer Triangle.
  • For 83 of the 88 existing constellations can be seen from Mount Teide. This means that all the constellations of the northern hemisphere and most constellations of the southern hemisphere can be contemplated from the Teide National Park.
  • For with long range telescopes it is possible to view planets and constellations as you have never done before.
  • For there is nothing like stargazing with the assistance of a Starlight guide who unravels all and every one of the mysteries of the vault of heaven.

Are you still confusing astrology with astronomy or are you already clear about going to Tenerife to enjoy astronomy?


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