Astronomy

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Astronomy

Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, nebulae, star clusters and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earth's atmosphere (such as the cosmic background radiation). It is concerned with the evolution, physics, chemistry, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects, as well as the formation and development of the universe.

Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences. Prehistoric cultures left behind astronomical artifacts such as the Egyptian monuments, Nubian monuments and Stonehenge, and early civilizations such as the Babylonians, Greeks, Chinese, Indians, and Maya performed methodical observations of the night sky. However, the invention of the telescope was required before astronomy was able to develop into a modern science. Historically, astronomy has included disciplines as diverse as astrometry, celestial navigation, observational astronomy, the making of calendars, and astrology, but professional astronomy is nowadays often considered to be synonymous with astrophysics.

During the 20th century, the field of professional astronomy split into observational and theoretical branches. Observational astronomy is focused on acquiring data from observations of celestial objects, which is then analyzed using basic principles of physics. Theoretical astronomy is oriented towards the development of computer or analytical models to describe astronomical objects and phenomena. The two fields complement each other, with theoretical astronomy seeking to explain the observational results, and observations being used to confirm theoretical results.

Amateur astronomers have contributed to many important astronomical discoveries, and astronomy is one of the few sciences where amateurs can still play an active role, especially in the discovery and observation of transient phenomena.

Ancient astronomy is not to be confused with astrology, the belief system which claims that human affairs are correlated with the positions of celestial objects. Although the two fields share a common origin and a part of their methods (namely, the use of ephemerides), they are now entirely distinct.

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Matching Astronomy Colleges

Name
University of Washington-Seattle Campus
Four or more years; Public; $27,230 average out-state tuition; $9,746 average in-state tuition
University of Colorado Boulder
Four or more years; Public; $28,850 average out-state tuition; $7,672 average in-state tuition
The University of Texas at Austin
Four or more years; Public; $32,506 average out-state tuition; $9,794 average in-state tuition
University of Maryland-College Park
Four or more years; Public; $24,337 average out-state tuition; $6,966 average in-state tuition
University of Florida
Four or more years; Public; $25,276 average out-state tuition; $4,060 average in-state tuition
University of Arizona
Four or more years; Public; $24,574 average out-state tuition; $8,364 average in-state tuition
Northern Arizona University
Four or more years; Public; $12,839 average out-state tuition; $6,514 average in-state tuition

Astronomy Scholarships

Name Amount Deadline
Monsanto STEM Fellowship Up to $50,000 May 01, 2017
Monsanto Graduate Student Scholarship Up to $25,000 May 01, 2017
Ford Foundation Predoctoral Diversity Fellowship $24,000 January 10, 2017
FIRST Scholarship - University of Advancing Technology $10,000 May 24, 2017
APIASF/Southern California Edison Scholarship $2,500 January 11, 2017
Dean of Science Scholarship for Continuing Students - IUPUI Up to $2,500 May 15, 2017
Downing Science Scholarship $2,000 March 02, 2017
Mary Harris Clark President's Honor Scholarship $2,000 February 01, 2017
Louisa Miller Eldredge President's Honor Scholarship $2,000 February 01, 2017
Hans P. Loewen Scholarship $2,000 February 01, 2017