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What's is the difference between General Astronomy, Astronomy, and Cosmology?

  1. May 24, 2006 #1
    There is a separate forum for each of these topics. Can anyone clearly explain the difference between them?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2006 #2
  4. May 24, 2006 #3


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    Have you been to this page?
    https://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=2 [Broken]

    Crudely, one might regard these as specializations of the preceding topic.
    For example, follow the first link in the first sentence
    and then similarly for the subsequent page.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  5. May 24, 2006 #4


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    I would say the distinctions are all very fuzzy, particularly between astronomy and astrophysics. One might be more inclined to associate observational topics with astronomy and theoretical ones with astrophysics, but that's not always how the words are used in practice. Cosmology is a little bit more distinct. It refers to topics that impact the universe at large (or, at least, the universe as we presently know it). However, most astronomical topics have cosmological relevance, so even this can be a bit ambiguous at times.

    In general, I don't shuffle posts between astro forums unless a topic is very clearly cosmological (like Hubble's law or WMAP) or not cosmological (like extrasolar planets).
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