The Study of the Physics of the Universe or Outer Space. Astrophysics is a combination of the Study of Physics and Astronomy.

Not to be confused with an Aerospace Engineer, or Rocket Scientist.

Often people ask Carlos what is Astrophysics. This is the answer Baron Carlos gives back:

The study of the life, death, and everything that happens in between, of a star, and what it does to the rest of the universe..

It is a difficult science, since there is very little to experiment with.
Which is probably a good thing, since the last thing BaronCarlos would want is to have his old professors be able to massage a real stellar object. (They would cause it to supernova.) (Bad thing).

BaronCarlos wrote:

Not to be confused with an Aerospace Engineer, or Rocket Scientist.

Ain't that the truth! Indeed, astrophysicists generally exist in two flavors:

Observers:
They look at and try to interpret data, which might come from radio telescopes, optical telescopes, or telescopes sensitive to infrared, ultraviolet, X-rays, or gamma rays. The telescopes might be on the ground or on satellites. Observers generally know nothing about how rockets work, nor even much about the telescopes they use.
Instrument builders:
They build the telescopes (and are usually observers as well, when they get a moment free from building things). Those of us who build telescopes that go on satellites know a little bit about rocketry, but mostly we just curse the real rocket scientists when the rockets don't work. (Rocket science is hard, don't ever forget that.)

As`tro*phys"ics (?), n. [Astro- + physics.] (Astron.)

The science treating of the physical characteristics of the stars and other heavenly bodies, their chemical constitution, light, heat, atmospheres, etc.

⇒ Its observations are made with the spectroscope, bolometer, etc., usually in connection with the telescope.

 

© Webster 1913

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