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Astrophysics & Astronomy
Astrophysics is the application of the theories and methods of physics to the study of stellar structure, stellar evolution, the origin of the solar system, and related problems of cosmology. MORE from The Columbia Encyclopedia
Asteroid: Topic Page
Planetoid, or minor planet, small body orbiting the sun. More than 10,000 asteroids have orbits sufficiently well known to have been cataloged and named; thousands more exist.
Astronomy: Topic Page
The scientific study of celestial bodies, including the planets, stars and galaxies, as well as interstellar and intergalactic space, and the universe as a whole. MORE
Big Bang Theory: Topic Page
A cosmological theory postulating that approximately 15 000 million years ago all the matter of the universe, packed into a small superdense mass, was hurled in all directions by a cataclysmic explosion. As the fragments slowed down, the galaxies and stars evolved but the universe is still expanding. MORE
Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram: Topic Page
for Ejnar Hertzsprung and H. N. Russell], graph (see illustration) showing the luminosity of a star as a function of its surface temperature. MORE
Ptolemaic System: Topic Page
Historically the most influential of the geocentric cosmological theories, i.e., theories that placed the earth motionless at the center of the universe with all celestial bodies revolving around it (see cosmology). MORE
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