Math in Astronomy

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  • Member since
    February, 2008
Math in Astronomy
Posted by sci-nerd=] on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 4:00 PM

Hello, I'm a high school student who is fascinated with science - especially astronomy.
I do excellent in every subject except for math.Angry I hang on with a A- every time, and I always have to study my brains out for a test so I pass it. I know Astronomy deals with A LOT of mathematical equations and such.. so I was wondering how some of you, 'Astronomers,' or people really knowledgeable in astronomy, studied math in high school or college. How did you come to understand it that when your tested for math; it comes as easy as writing sentences. Is there something that interest you about math that makes it easier to calculate complex equations? I could try to make it interesting but, I'm going to need advice..

  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, April 07, 2008 4:33 PM

Same here

Science is my fav. subject and in math i always come out with an A, but half the stuff I don't get. I want to be an astronomer more then anything so how do you grasp the math concepts used? what classes should i take to pre pare?

CFB
  • Member since
    November, 2007
Posted by CFB on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 7:41 PM

If you are getting an A or A-, you are doing good.  Think about the people getting Bs and Cs.  I never appreciated math when I studied math.  I appreciated it when I used it to solve problems.

CFB

  • Member since
    October, 2007
Posted by aquadan005 on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 11:19 PM

Boy, I absolutely excelled in math in grade school ( more years ago than I like to admit ) . The practical application of math in my life was intriguing to say the least. I was a volunteer FF and the application of algebra in the calculation fire flows for water was invaluable in the protection of life and property. I did however, struggle in the "classroom" or "theoretical" study of it, in my post high school years. I just thank God I was able to understand it when it really mattered.

As for the application of mathmatics in astronomy I realize I am going to have to go "back to School " so to speak. But hey such is life as they say.

 

Lime and limpid green a second scene, A fight between the blue you once knew. Floating down the sound resounds Around the icy waters underground Jupiter and Saturn Oberon Miranda and Titania Neptune Titan Stars can frighten...you Pink Floyd - Astronomy Domine ________________________________________________ For millions of years mankind lived just like the animals Then something happenend which unleashed the power of our imagination We learned to talk - Stephen Hawking
  • Member since
    February, 2008
Posted by sci-nerd=] on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 11:50 PM

hello again everyone - thanks for the replies. It has been a while since I had posted this topic concerning math and now I am happy to say I have been doing much better =D I've been paying much attention during class and  have never been hesitant to ask questions if something confused me. Now I have a 98% in my trig class and a 97% in algebra =DD I couldn't be happier and it turns out all I needed to do was turn the whole math situation into my own little competition. I swim competitively so I'm always trying to make everything some sort of competition lol. So I  attend class in hopes of winning (with the best grade) right now I'm 2nd in the class. Before I never use to care about my grade because it was just so darn difficult but, what I didn't realize is that to understand any aspect of mathematics I must make a sincere effort to piece it all together until I knew what it was trying to tell me. I'm most certainly not a genius - I work extremely hard to get good grades - and in the case of math, harder then usual but it is not my most dreaded class anymore =] Spanish took its place as of now. (learning a new language seems to be far more difficult lol)

  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by intergalactic universe on Saturday, June 28, 2008 12:26 PM

ilovemyspace

Same here

Science is my fav. subject and in math i always come out with an A, but half the stuff I don't get. I want to be an astronomer more then anything so how do you grasp the math concepts used? what classes should i take to pre pare?

 

 +1

Yesterday I went to a school interview. They asked me my most favorite and least favorite subject in school. I told them my most favorite is Science and least favorite is Math. Then they gave me a weird look, like its suppose to be very ironic. I got a 99 on my report card for math, in spit of this, I don't get half of the stuff.

PS
ilovemyspace - are you in high school ?

 

to infinity and beyond
  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by juvenilealchemist on Thursday, July 03, 2008 10:15 PM
...i also love science and is dreaming of becoming an astronomer someday but the chances of fulfilling my dreams is very minimal...there are a lot of problems to deal with and one is about mathematics...astronomy really needs a lot of mathematics and mathematics is somewhat allergic to me....how big is the possibility that i can be an astronomer someday if i don't excel that much in mathematics?,,,
..so many questions waiting to be answered....so many mysteries waiting to be solved...so many things waiting to be discovered.....life is a huge quest..
  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, July 21, 2008 9:04 PM

 

I watched a documentary on Einstein once and was astounded to learn that he had been an unimpressive university student.  He worked on his theories as he worked a job as a patent clerk. 

In the documentary it stated that it took him nearly 3 years to actually learn the math that explained his own theory of relativity.  His friend from university, a better math student than he, helped him with this task.

 You have to understand that to master something takes a great deal of drive and effort, even more so than natural ability.  The ability on its own is useless if there is no drive and discipline to guide it.

 Think of how much you want this, to work in astronomy.  And stop listening to the doubts in yourself, that keep insisting that you can't do something.  You can do anything, if you decide that you are going to do it, I believe that.

 

Just keep on truckin', kids. 

 

 

  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by juvenilealchemist on Monday, July 21, 2008 11:15 PM

how I wish I have that super knowledge when it comes to math..... 

..so many questions waiting to be answered....so many mysteries waiting to be solved...so many things waiting to be discovered.....life is a huge quest..
  • Member since
    November, 2006
Posted by Frankmon on Saturday, December 13, 2008 2:30 PM

I am a mechanical engineer and design machines and mechanical devices for the entertainment industry (long way of saying that I do special effects). I picked this as my career choice in 6th grade even though math was my weakest subject.

I never received anything higher than a "B" in math. Needless to say I was discouraged from pursuing engineering.

 To overcome my weakness, I sought out "real world" applications and problem solving in the field. If classwork went over my head and I floundered around, I  reworked the lesson(s) substituting actual examples from the field. It didn't take long to realize that, unless I wanted to be a theoretical physicist or a mathematician, I only needed to understand a fraction of the different branches of mathematics.

I don't need to know how to model a super-nova or draw a representation of an X dimensional structure. I need to know how to make a machine operate at a certain speed without failing or insure a welded piece doesn't fall off the wall.

After 25 years, I still only use a small portion of each branch of mathematics. In all that time, a problem has never surfaced where I had to go get someone better at math to resolve it.

I hope this helps.

 

  • Member since
    March, 2009
Posted by interstellerkid on Monday, March 02, 2009 7:57 PM
i just want to know if there was any sort of website where you can learn the math you need in astronomy.
are we alone in the universe?
  • Member since
    December, 2008
Posted by TeleTaurus7 on Monday, March 02, 2009 8:09 PM

I only know the equations for how high a rocket can go LOL

The Naked Eye
  • Member since
    March, 2009
Posted by interstellerkid on Monday, March 02, 2009 8:42 PM
dang.. then ill just have to take physics in school. and learn all that crap.
are we alone in the universe?
  • Member since
    May, 2004
Posted by Astroceltica on Monday, June 15, 2009 1:48 PM

Math really is the language of science.  What made science different from philosophy was that it involved making measurements and performing calculations, it wasn't just about thinking about some phenomenon and guessing how it works.  One actually knew how hot something was, how fast it was moving, etc.  The simplest solution is just that math requires practice and patience as far as solving problems.  So, go practice lots and lots of problems, and be sure to work on the word problems most of all- they are the most similar to the work we astronomers actually do.

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