home observation science solar system stars our galaxy cosmology astrobiology exoplanets astrophotography
icon Introduction
icon Astronomy Tools
1. Electromagnetic Spectrum
2. Atmosphere Limitations
3. Space Observations
1. Telescopes
2. Radio
3. Space Tools
4. Photography
5. Spectroscopy
6. Computers
7. Advanced Methods
8. Radio Astronomy
icon Basic Mathematics
Scientific Notation
Log Scales
icon Physics
- Basic Units of Measure
- Mass & Density
- Temperature
- Velocity & Acceleration
- Force, Pressure & Energy
- Atoms
- Quantum Physics
- Nature of Light
- Brightness
- Cepheid Rulers
- Distance
- Doppler Shift
- Frequency & Wavelength
- Hubble's Law
- Inverse Square Law
- Kinetic Energy
- Luminosity
- Magnitudes
- Convert Mass to Energy
- Kepler & Newton - Orbits
- Parallax
- Planck's Law
- Relativistic Redshift
- Relativity
- Schwarzschild Radius 
- Synodic & Sidereal Periods
- Sidereal Time
- Small Angle Formula
- Stellar Properties 
- Stephan-Boltzmann Law
- Telescope Related
- Temperature
- Tidal Forces
- Wien's Law
icon Computer Models
icon Additional Resources
1. Advanced Topics
2. Guest Contributions
Science - Physics
There are two different major categories of Astronomy: there is the observational Astronomy best left for amateurs and hobbyist, and Astrophysics. The difference between these two categories is for what the observations is used.

Amateur astronomers and hobbyists will used telescopes for casual viewing, used CCD and film cameras to capture objects of interest, and even perform asteroid and comet hunting. The Astrophysicist is more concern with data, raw CCD images, and rarely looks looks through a telescope. The data they examine is used to help shape theories and models.

It is not uncommon for an amateur astronomers to be able to recite, by memory, at least a dozen constellation names as well as know when to view a planet. It is also not uncommon for amateur astronomers to discover supernova, comets and asteroids even before the professional is able to steer his or her equipment. It is also not uncommon for a professional astronomer to recite the names of only the most common constellations, and have no clue when best observing planets times are.

Both are on two different paths.

I say this because it is important to realize that what the professional astronomer do is equally as important to what an amateur does. The purpose of this site is to hopefully educate those willing to learn and to point them in the right direction so they can understand the world they see when they look up at night.

This section on physics is an important one. Don't let the word "physics" scare you because chances are, you know the concepts already - you just simply do not understand fully on how to conceptualize them. For example, everyone knows what gravity is. We know it keeps us on the ground. It also keeps our atmosphere where it is. But we may not understand is why that is. In the case of gravity, this is really the result of the force between two bodies interacting with one another.

This section will introduce and briefly explain the major concepts in physics as used in Astronomy. Of course, these are "universal" in that gravity as it pertains to objects in space also pertains to objects on Earth.

Put on some Mozart or Vivaldi (The Four Seasons preferably) and enjoy as you read this Physics section.

Back to Top

Search | Site Map | Buy Stuff - Store | Appendix
©2004 - 2013 Astronomy Online. All rights reserved. Contact Us. Legal. Creative Commons License
The works within is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.