Difference between astronomy and cosmology

Astronomy vs Astrophysics vs Cosmology

difference between astronomy and cosmology

Richard Feynman has nice words about science. It is not bad to read chapter 3 of "Feynman Lectures on Physics". The main point of his lecture.

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Astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology are three closely related fields of study and are confused to be same. There is a difference between the domains and goals of the study of the three fields. Let us find out what it is. Astronomy is defined as " The science which treats of the constitution, relative positions, and motions of the heavenly bodies; that is, of all the bodies in the material universe outside of the earth, as well as of the earth itself in its relations to them. So astronomy deals with the observation of various celestial phenomenon which includes predicting the planet positions, eclipses, path of comets, meteor showers etc. Beyond solar system, astronomy talks about nebulae, stars and galaxies and predicts their position and provides their spectrum X-ray, Radio, Gamma, Infrared etc.

For a while now, I have been interested in Particle Astrophysics. I tried teaching myself with this beautiful book called Particle Astrophysics by Donald Perkins. I have read his standard Particle Physics book earlier and am a fan of his style of incorporating experiments. It has a nice phenomenological aspect to it. On the same lines, I was expecting to be hooked to it for weeks, or better, months. But a chapter later I realized that I do not have sufficient background in Astrophysics and Cosmology. So, I started reading the book, and it stands up to my expectations.

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Cosmology is a branch of astronomy that involves the origin and evolution of the universe , from the Big Bang to today and on into the future. According to NASA, the definition of cosmology is "the scientific study of the large scale properties of the universe as a whole. Cosmologists puzzle over exotic concepts like string theory, dark matter and dark energy and whether there is one universe or many sometimes called the multiverse. While other aspects astronomy deal with individual objects and phenomena or collections of objects, cosmology spans the entire universe from birth to death , with a wealth of mysteries at every stage. Humanity's understanding of the universe has evolved significantly over time. In the early history of astronomy, Earth was regarded as the center of all things, with planets and stars orbiting it. In the 16th century, Polish scientist Nicolaus Copernicus suggested that Earth and the other planets in the solar system in fact orbited the sun, creating a profound shift in the understanding of the cosmos.

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It only takes a minute to sign up. What is the main difference between Astronomy , Astrophysics , and Cosmology? I have the impression that astronomy is a subject that runs parallel to physics but it is outside the physics field. This is based on the division of departments present in many universities: the department of physics being separated from the department of astronomy.



What is the difference between Astrophysics and Cosmology?

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What Is The Difference Between Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology?

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What Is Cosmology? Definition & History

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3 thoughts on “Difference between astronomy and cosmology

  1. Cosmology is a sub-field of Astrophysics, while Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, Cosmology studies universe as a whole.

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