Related topics: galaxies · universe

Image: Storm in the Teacup quasar

This image shows a quasar nicknamed the Teacup due to its shape. A quasar is an active galaxy that is powered by material falling into its central supermassive black hole. They are extremely luminous objects located at great ...

Astronomers discover 2,000-year-old remnant of a nova

For the first time, a European research team involving the University of Göttingen has discovered the remains of a nova in a galactic globular cluster. The remnant is located near the centre of the globular cluster Messier ...

Research on disk galaxies sheds light on movement of stars

University of Arkansas astrophysicists have taken an important step toward solving the mystery of how disk galaxies maintain the shape of their spiral arms. Their findings support the theory that these arms are created by ...

How heavy elements come about in the universe

Heavy elements are produced during stellar explosion or on the surfaces of neutron stars through the capture of hydrogen nuclei (protons). This occurs at extremely high temperatures, but at relatively low energies. An international ...

Macroscopic phenomena governed by microscopic physics

It has been difficult to simultaneously obtain micro- and macroscopic information in outer space. Global images of distant astrophysical phenomena provide macroscopic information, however local information is inaccessible. ...

Growing magnetic fields in deep space: Just wiggle the plasma

Contrary to what many people believe, outer space is not empty. In addition to an electrically charged soup of ions and electrons known as plasma, space is permeated by magnetic fields with a wide range of strengths. Astrophysicists ...

Astronomers witness birth of new star from stellar explosion

The explosions of stars, known as supernovae, can be so bright they outshine their host galaxies. They take months or years to fade away, and sometimes, the gaseous remains of the explosion slam into hydrogen-rich gas and ...

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Astrophysics

Astrophysics (Greek: Astro - meaning "star", and Greek: physisφύσις - meaning "nature") is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties of celestial objects, as well as their interactions and behavior. Among the objects studied are galaxies, stars, planets, exoplanets, the interstellar medium and the cosmic microwave background. Their emissions are examined across all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, and the properties examined include luminosity, density, temperature, and chemical composition. The study of cosmology addresses questions of astrophysics at scales much larger than the size of particular gravitationally-bound objects in the universe.

Because astrophysics is a very broad subject, astrophysicists typically apply many disciplines of physics, including mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, relativity, nuclear and particle physics, and atomic and molecular physics. In practice, modern astronomical research involves a substantial amount of physics. The name of a university's department ("astrophysics" or "astronomy") often has to do more with the department's history than with the contents of the programs. Astrophysics can be studied at the bachelors, masters, and Ph.D. levels in aerospace engineering, physics, or astronomy departments at many universities.

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