Learn Astronomy

Tags: Astronomy, Science

Study fundamental Astronomy terms and facts with interactive web & mobile flashcards created by top students, teachers, and professors.

Top Astronomy Flashcards Ranked by Quality

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About Astronomy on Brainscape

What is Astronomy?

On July 20, 1969, Commander Neil Armstrong became the first person to step on the moon. His one small step on the lunar surface represented a “…One giant leap for mankind.”  

Ostensibly, the primary goal of the Apollo 11 mission was to fulfill President Kennedy’s promise to safely travel to the moon and back. However, geopolitics aside, Armstrong’s moonwalk poised humanity on the brink of a transcendent future. Correspondingly, it has propelled our imagination and determination towards space travel and exploration.

Who has not dreamt of stepping on the moon? Who has not felt a sense of wonder while looking into the night sky lit with countless stars? And who has not pondered if we can ever live on Mars or other planets in the galaxy?

In Astronomy, we fly further to seek answers to these questions. In astronomy, we study not only the moon, but also planets, stars, galaxies, comets, meteors, black holes, asteroids, subatomic particles, gravity -- and also the eventual fate of our universe.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) simply defines Astronomy as “the study of stars, planets and space.” Its term came from the Greek word ἀστρονομία (astronomía), which relates to the study of celestial objects and outer space phenomena. It encompasses in its body of knowledge a combination of physics, mathematics, chemistry, geology, evolution, oceanic sciences, astrophysics, biology, neuroscience, biotechnology, calculus, probability, statistics, linear algebra, statistical methods, meteorology, and engineering.

Someone who studies astronomy is called an astronomer. Astronomers are individuals or scientists in the field of astronomy who study the universe and its content outside the scope of the Earth. With astronomy, you can have the chance to take part in the process of outer space exploration and discovery.

While Astronomy and Astrology have common roots, they are two different practices.  Some call astrology a pseudo-science which means ‘false’ science. Also, in contrast to astronomy, Astrology attempts to study the positions and relationships between celestial bodies and how they influence the lives of the people and the events on earth.

If we don’t have today's modern understanding of astronomy or of how things are in the heavenly vault, we wouldn’t understand why the ground beneath our feet is fixed, or why the sky above us moves around. With astronomy, we know the reason why the sun rises, and the sun sets. It explains a lot of what’s going on whenever we wonder about all the objects in the sky.

Careers in Astronomy

The notion of other planets, galaxies, and even another lifeform is a concept that captures human’s imagination to this day. And these are all reviewed in astronomy. If you are one of those individuals who are wondering about the existence of objects (or living things!) on outer space, you may want to consider a career studying the stars and other celestial objects.

A career in astronomy is a passport to several exciting job opportunities. Jobs you can get with a Bachelor’s Degree in Astronomy include Researcher, Support scientist, Professor/science educator, Telescope operator/night assistant, Instrument technician, Data technician/analyst, Planetarium/museum director, Science Librarian, and Science writer.

Learning Astronomy

Learning astronomy is not as simple as looking through the telescope. But unlike what most people assume, astronomy is not just for super-smart geniuses. Anyone can study astronomy.

While looking over the heavenly realms requires a deep understanding of the sciences including mathematics and physics, anyone can soak up in books or articles about the solar system and enrol in an astronomy class. The point is, even the wisest of the astronomers get to start with reading and going over lessons in school or moon-watching and stargazing.

Anyway, the best way to learn astronomy, as claimed by many students and experts in the field, is to look further at the universe. What we mean by this doesn’t pertain to getting off on a space shuttle like Apollo 11, but to look for other ways to expand your interest in astronomy. This means that you should start with books (we are pretty sure that in every age, there are tons of astronomy books available) and learn the basics.

There are also astronomy magazines (both in paper and online) to cater both novice astronomers and advanced enthusiasts with stories about space exploration, deep sky projects, and star charts, as well as seasonal updates from NASA and other professional astronomy organizations.

And since astronomy is also about technological advancement, why not use the power of web and internet via computers, laptops, and mobile devices?  Online crash courses and apps like Brainscape can help you learn about astronomy! From charged particles and ultraviolet lights to black holes and white dwarfs, Brainscape has it!

Astronomy in Brainscape

In Brainscape, you will find several classes, decks, and study cards for Astronomy – starting with the top classes below. These include classes created by users and publishers around the world as well as enthusiasts and students (perhaps like you) who want to learn more about astronomy.

Here you can find classes (ranked by quality) that are organized into decks, which contains all the necessary concepts you need to know about astronomy. These may include general principles, to all phases of the moon, eclipses, planets, asteroids, comets, Oort cloud, exoplanets, planetary nebulae, gamma ray bursts, dark matter, and deep space.

Also, Brainscape makes it easy for users to create a personalized set of flashcards! Why is that good news? Well, studies show that building your own smart flash cards will be yet another tactic to learn astronomy faster, or other subjects you might need to master!

Learn Faster in Brainscape

Brainscape is an adaptive web and mobile platform devised to improve the retention of declarative knowledge. Brainscape’s mission is to create a smarter world by accelerating and simplifying the learning process. It is distinctive from other platforms in that its configuration for re-assessment is grounded not on a random procedure nor on user's history of correctness. Its algorithm is based on app user's own judgment of confidence in answering each flashcard – a process that Brainscape calls Confidence-Based Repetition (CBR). It is scientifically proven to help you learn more efficiently than ever before.

Aside from Confidence-Based Repetition, Brainscape makes use of other cognitive science learning principles –Active Recall and Metacognition.

Active Recall involves "actively" retrieving the correct answer from your memory, as opposed to passively "identifying" the right answer amongst chains of multiple choice options. This process enhances connections between the neural pathway of the brain, a very efficient technique in strengthening long-term memory.

Metacognition, on the other hand, is a procedure that requires you to reflect on how deeply you know the concept, aiding in 'memory trace' – the actual scheme of storing memories. After answering each flashcard question in Brainscape, the platform will ask how well you knew your answer on a scale of 1-5. Then, it determines when and how frequent the card will appear again (with 1s coming up repeatedly and 5s hardly ever until you report a higher rating).

Amazing, isn’t it? Try Brainscape today!

How to Get Started

To get started with Brainscape, take the first step in browsing some of the astronomy classes listed on this page. You may also explore further and check each astronomy classes to grasp how they are organized into decks. Then, try to examine each deck to see if they may be able to help you with what you are looking to learn. Pick whatever classes suit your needs and jump in!

Think about studying in Brainscape the first step towards your first moonwalk in space! Brainscape wishes you well, Enjoy!