Pasachoff, Jay M. Hopkins Observatory, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:June 2018
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- Optical telescopes
- Telescopes in space
- Telescopes across the spectrum
- Non-electromagnetic-radiation telescopes
- Theory and computation
- Experimental astrophysics and particle physics
- Historical astronomy
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The study of the universe and the objects in it through scientific investigation. The goal of astronomical research is to understand celestial objects and the nature and evolution of the cosmos (Fig. 1). Because much of contemporary astronomy uses the laws, mathematics, and methods of physics, the terms “astronomy” and “astrophysics” are usually used interchangeably. However, modern astronomy also uses techniques from many other scientific disciplines, including chemistry, geology, and biology, for which the terms astrochemistry, planetary science, and astrobiology are regularly used. Even astrometry, the measurement of the positions and motions of stars and other astronomical objects, has links to astrophysical investigations. See also: Astrobiology; Astrometry; Biology; Chemistry; Geology; Physics
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