How do astronomers use math in their jobs?
Hi...... I was just curious as to how much math do you use? In what ways is math involved in astronomy?
Astronomer use math all the time. One way it is used is when we look at objects in the sky with a telescope. The camera that is attached to the telescope basically records a series of numbers - those numbers might correspond to how much light different objects in the sky are emitting, what type of light, etc. In order to be able to understand the information that these numbers contain, we need to use math and statistics to interpret them.
Another way that astronomers use math is when they are forming and testing theories for the physical laws that govern the objects in the sky. Theories consist of formulas that relate quantities to each other (a very simple example is Newton's law, force = mass times acceleration). In order to be able to test these theories and use them to make predictions about what we will observe in the sky, astronomers need to use math to manipulate the equations.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
- How do astronauts use math in their jobs?
- What skills do astronomers need?
- How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry?
- How does Astronomy involve Chemistry?
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 92739 times since September 29, 2002.
Last modified: October 3, 2002 6:30:05 PM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)