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How a particle may stand still in rotating spacetime

When a massive astrophysical object, such as a boson star or black hole, rotates, it can cause the surrounding spacetime to rotate along with it due to the effect of frame dragging. In a new paper, physicists have shown that ...

Trio of infant planets discovered around newborn star

Two independent teams of astronomers have uncovered convincing evidence that three young planets are in orbit around an infant star known as HD 163296. Using a new planet-finding strategy, the astronomers identified three ...

Neutron-star merger yields new puzzle for astrophysicists

The afterglow from the distant neutron-star merger detected last August has continued to brighten - much to the surprise of astrophysicists studying the aftermath of the massive collision that took place about 138 million ...

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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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