How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner)

I was just wondering how astronomers come up with their facts. I'm sure it takes a ton of researching!

There are two main types of Astronomers: observers and theorists.

Observers go to telescopes and make observations in the night sky. They then spend most of their time processing that data and learning about what other people have done before them (reading) before they write about what they have found out.

Theorists spend their time making calculations and computer simulations of things. They also have to keep up with what everyone has done/is doing and write papers about their models/simulations. Usually they try to compare them with what observers might be able to see/have seen in the sky.

Page last updated on June 19, 2015.

About the Author

Karen Masters

Karen Masters

Karen was a graduate student at Cornell from 2000-2005. She went on to work as a researcher in galaxy redshift surveys at Harvard University, and is now on the Faculty at the University of Portsmouth back in her home country of the UK. Her research lately has focused on using the morphology of galaxies to give clues to their formation and evolution. She is the Project Scientist for the Galaxy Zoo project.

Twitter:  @KarenLMasters

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