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Unformatted text preview: 1 What is Astronomy and Astrophysics ?? • Astronomy is a science which tries to quench our thirst for very basic questions like “ What are we and where are we ”. It is the study of the entire universe and Universe is the totality of all space, time, matter and energy. Hence, in general Astronomy is science of everything. • Astrophysics is the study of heavenly bodies under the laws of physics. • Astronomy is an OBSERVATIONAL science while astrophysics is EXPERIMENTAL. • Today we typically use these terms interchangeably . • Pure Science Definition of Pure Science •To examining a given system using logic and especially mathematics to model a way the system might work so as to be able without fail to predict its future state, given enough knowledge of its present state. Mathematics is the purest exampleofpurescience. •"I think the purpose of pure science in general is to figure out how the world works, how things fit together," said Dan Wulbert, a math professor at UC San Diego. "The feeling is if you understand how things work and how they go together, there will be applications later on. If you only work on the very applied problems, you don't see the future, in a sense." • By pure science is meant that enquiry which pursues knowledge without it having any immediately clear application to the world. An example of Pure Science is astronomy -the study of the stars. Why study astronomy (Its importance and usefulness) Religion Artificial satellites (communication) Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Geophysics, Biology Event predictions (e.g eclipse, meteor shower etc) Celestial navigation (one’s position on earth, military, commercial airplanes, ships) Modern Technology Imagination Are we alone in the Universe (SETI) Human curiosities (intellectual satisfaction) Day (Earth’s rotation) Month (Moon’s revolution around earth) Year (Earth’s revolution around Sun) Time Calendar From Here to Infinity 2 The “Obvious”View From Earth The Science of astronomy, begins simply by looking at the night sky. Lift your eyes up on the clear night and you can see …: • Stars • Moon • Up to 5 planets • Comets • Meteors (or shower) • Band of Milky Way Galaxy & Artificial Satellites Constellation...
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2008 for the course PHYS 1445 taught by Professor Veerbathina during the Spring '07 term at UT Arlington.
- Spring '07