A Definition I’ve Wanted

1 minute read

Some Space Science that I care about

I am a big fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson, and he is an astrophysicist. As I started listening to what he’s been up to for the past little while, I got curious:

What’s the difference between an Astrophysicist and an Astronomer? Oh, and I was reminded of Cosmology an hour ago; what’s that got to do with anything?

After a visit to a knowledge graph-turned-search engine, I found a relatively-forgotten blog that started to cover the difference. Quoting Wikipedia on the matter, here’s the layman’s rephrasing that leans on my penchant for Set Theory.

Definitions

  1. Cosmology is the study of the Universe at large: who, what, when, where, how, and - occasionally - why (metaphysically and physically)
  2. Astronomy is the large field that is a proper subset of Cosmology:
    • It concerns itself with the motion of celestial bodies, which is heavily physics-based
    • When there’s evidence of some interaction of another science - e.g. “Was something here before our probes landed?” - we start to see the prefixed sciences: astrobiology, astrochemistry, etc
  3. Astrophysics is a proper subset of Astronomy, dealing strictly with the physical phenoma
    • The line is very blurry with Astronomy-proper, which is more than okay for many of this particular section of the scientific community
    • History shows that Astrophysics is often close with engineering disciplines, which may make it more applied in nature

That’s as far as I can tell.


That blog that I mentioned previously pointed me towards a wonderful physicist: Sean Carroll and his blog.

I also discovered Fermat’s library, which is serving as a hub for tools for academics to work with their publishing.

Lastly, thanks to this post on that forgotten blog, I’ve found a comical tool to drive creative, constructive output: Squibler Writing Prompt Generator

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