Difference between Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Updated: Jan 17

Whenever someone says astronomy, astrophysics or cosmology, the beautiful universe flashes before our eyes. Although these fields are interconnected to each other, they differ slightly in terms of studies and research carried out. While the general tendency is to use these terms interchangeably let us see the difference between them.

Astronomy is the study of everything in the universe be it the stars, planets, galactic clusters or black holes. It has many branches like astrophysics, cosmology, astrobiology, astrostatistics, data science etc. Yes you got it right! Astrophysics and cosmology are branches of astronomy.

Astrophysics is a branch of space science that uses the laws of physics to study astronomical objects and phenomena. In simpler terms, it is the study of how stars, planets and other objects in the universe work rather than determining their positions. Astrophysicists use physics to explain what astronomers observe. This makes to possible to see how the universe is changing with time and predict future events.

If you are studying the origins and evolution of the universe, it's large scale structure and dynamics. It brings together the natural sciences- astronomy and physics- to understand the universe as a unified hole.

All of these combined together help us to understand the large and small scale structure of the universe and its other aspects. They also gives us a sense of further course of the universe.

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