Go to Home Page
You are here
Go to Reference Section
Go to Directories Section
Go to Community Section
Go to Fun Section
Go to Science Store
Go to About PhysLink.com
Club PhysLink
   Not a member yet?
   Get Free Membership
   Username:
   
   Password:
   
    Remember me
   
   Forgot your login?
Top Destinations Menu
 Ask the ExpertsAsk the
Experts

 Physics and Astronomy Departments DirectoryUniversity
Departments

 Discussion ForumsDiscussion
Forums

 Online Chat Online
Chat

 FREE Einstein eCardsEinstein
eGreetings

 PhysLink.com Science eStoreScience
eStore

Community

Chikrii Word2TeX Software

Click here for a free 2-week trial

Become a Sponsor


   Question

What is the basic difference between Astrophysics and Astronomy?

Asked by: Subrata Chakraborty

Answer

According to the Oxford University physics dictionary:

Astronomy is the study of the universe beyond the earth's atmosphere. The main branches are astrometry, celestial mechanics, and astrophysics.

Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy concerned with the physical processes associated with the celestial bodies and the intervening regions of space. It deals principally with the energy of stellar systems and the relation between this energy and the evolution of the system.

So, astronomy is sort of a top level science that covers any scientific explorations of space beyond our atmosphere and astrophysics is a branch of astronomy that is concerned with the actual physics of stars, planets, black-holes, etc. , their formation, evolution and ultimately their future.

For example, if you have a telescope in your backyard and you like to observe the night sky and make star charts and learn about our solar system then you are an amateur astronomer but if you like to use equations to calculate how big does a star have to be in order to become a black hole one day - well then you are an amateur astrophysicist.

Answered by: Anton Skorucak, M.S. Physics, PhysLink.com Creator


go to the top  
Advertisement:



All rights reserved. © Copyright '1995-'2004 PhysLink.com