How does Astronomy involve Chemistry?
There is actually quite a lot of Chemistry used in various areas of Astronomy.
One big application is in the identification of spectral lines. Each element and molecule emits light at very specific frequencies, so we can use this fact to try to identify the composition of Astronomical objects from the light they emit. This can be hard, as there will be lots of things mixed in together all emitting different spectral lines (a famous astronomer once likened it to trying to reconstruct a piano from the noise it makes as it falls down the stairs!).
Areas where chemistry is particularly important is in studies of our Solar System, where the bodies can have very interesting composition. Another area is looking at Molecular Clouds (clouds with molecules in them) from which it is believed that stars form.
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 astronomers use math in their jobs?
- How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry?
- How do astronauts use math in their jobs?
- What skills do astronomers need?
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 39638 times since September 16, 2004.
Last modified: September 16, 2004 11:53:27 AM
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)