Related topics: galaxies · universe

Black hole hidden within its own exhaust

Supermassive black holes, millions to billions of times the mass of our Sun, are found at the centers of galaxies. Many of these galactic behemoths are hidden within a thick doughnut-shape ring of dust and gas known as a ...

Scientists gear up to take a picture of a black hole

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, astronomers, physicists and scientists from related fields will convene in Tucson, Ariz. from across the world to discuss an endeavor that only a few years ago would have been regarded as nothing less ...

A close call of 0.8 light years

A group of astronomers from the US, Europe, Chile and South Africa have determined that 70,000 years ago a recently discovered dim star is likely to have passed through the solar system's distant cloud of comets, the Oort ...

Cosmic thread that binds us revealed

(PhysOrg.com) -- Astronomers at The Australian National University have found evidence for the textile that forms the fabric of the Universe.

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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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