Types of Astronomy That Have a Bearing on Astrophysics

Published on May 27, 2016

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Astronomical science uses observational astronomy which is linked with recording distinct data, with imaginary astrophysics, mainly focuses on finding out the measurable implications of physical models. By using telescopes and other astronomical apparatus observing celestial objects, is carried on

By using the electromagnetic spectrum, the mainstream of astrophysical observations is made.

Radio Astronomy


A subfield of astronomy is Radio astronomy, which uses Radio frequency to study celestial objects. In the 1930’s, the first discovery of radio waves from an astrological object was made as Karl Jansky discovered the radio waves emanating from the Milky way. The invention of background radiation and cosmic microwave are considered as proof for Big Bang Theory, which was made by Radio Astronomy.

Infrared Astronomy

Pillars of Creation, taken in near-infrared light. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Infrared Astronomy is a branch of astrophysics and astronomy, which studies astronomical objects that are visible in infrared radiation. Infrared light has a wavelength that falls between 0.75 to 300 micrometers. Infrared is supposed to come within the range of visible radiation, ranging from 380 to 750 nanometers but they are shorter than radio waves. Normally, at infrared frequencies, objects which are colder than the stars are studied. Usually, infrared observations are made with telescopes like well known optical telescope.

Optical Astronomy


Optical Astronomy is the oldest type of Astronomy. The most common instruments used in this astronomy are the Spectroscope and Telescope, paired with a charge-coupled device. This astronomy is the study of the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which has a wavelength of 400nm to 700nm. For optical observations, the atmosphere of the Earth obstructs a bit, thus space telescopes and adaptive optics are used to obtain the highest quality of image. In this range of wavelength, while studying the chemical composition of galaxies, nebulae and stars, many chemical spectra can be observed and the stars are highly visible.

Ultraviolet, X-Ray and Gamma Ray Astronomy

Black Holes, Binary Pulsars, Magnetars and the like, represent very energy filled processes, which can be best studied by Ultraviolet, X-Ray and Gamma Ray Astronomy.

With frequencies that are higher than visible light, the earth’s atmosphere appears opaque to ultraviolet radiation frequencies, and therefore for effective imager, they should be placed at a level higher the atmosphere. The ultraviolet spectrum can normally distinctly see the hotter stars and galaxies

The Gamma rays and x-rays spectrum lies above the level of the ultraviolet spectrum. X-ray telescopes for this application are designed uniquely with nested mirrors deflecting the x-rays repeatedly, before focusing on an image.

The highest frequency is produced by the Gamma ray detectors that offer energy observations of the highest order. Here, the instruments depend on counting the photons in the spectrum of the gamma rays at some point in the sky, and not by producing an image.

In the observational astrophysics, the study of the sun has a special position. The sun can be observed in a type of incomparable by any other star because of the incredible distance of the other stars.

Theoretical Astrophysics

In Theoretical Astrophysics wide variety of tools are used such as computational numerical simulations and analytical models. And every tool has some advantage. Generally, analytical models are better for giving a true insight of the happenings. Numerical models can expose the reality of Phenomena.

In astrophysics, the theorists make an effort to create theoretical models and find out the observational cost of those models. It helps and allows the observers to look for data which can disprove a model or help in deciding between several alternates. To take into account new data, the theorists also try to create or modify models. In the case of an irregularity, the general trend is to make minimal modification in the model to fit the data.

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