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Astrophysics is a branch of astronomy which studies the physical interactions of celestial bodies, or groups of celestial bodies. The objects studied are planets, stars, nebulae, solar systems, and galaxies. For many years, even before the invention of superior optical viewing instruments such as the telescope, the movements of stars and planets were observed and charted by astronomers across the ages. They couldn't explain the movement patterns, but kept meticulous records of celestial occurences and happenings. Sir Isaac Newton, a noted 18th century mathematician and scientist, ultimately capped off this observational period by formulating and explaining his universal law of gravitation. This law was instrumental in explaining the paths planets took as they revolved around the sun, as well as explaining why objects accelerated towards the Earth when released.
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