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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.

May 2001, Dave Rothstein (more by Dave Rothstein) (Like this Answer)

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