noun plural but singular or plural in construction \ˌas-trə-ˈfi-ziks\

: the scientific study of the physical and chemical properties and structures of stars, planets, and other objects in outer space

Full Definition of ASTROPHYSICS

:  a branch of astronomy dealing especially with the behavior, physical properties, and dynamic processes of celestial objects and phenomena
as·tro·phys·i·cal \-zi-kəl\ adjective
as·tro·phys·i·cal·ly \-zi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
as·tro·phys·i·cist \-ˈfi-zə-sist, -ˈfiz-sist\ noun


International Scientific Vocabulary
First Known Use: 1890


   (Concise Encyclopedia)

Branch of astronomy concerned mainly with the properties and structures of cosmic objects, including the universe as a whole. Starting in the 19th century, spectroscopy and photography were applied to astronomical research, making it possible to study the brightness, temperature, and chemical composition of cosmic objects. It was soon realized that the properties of these bodies could be fully understood only in terms of the physics of their atmospheres and interiors. X-ray astronomy, gamma-ray astronomy, infrared astronomy, ultraviolet astronomy, and radio and radar astronomy are all basically concerned with extending electromagnetic coverage beyond the visible spectrum to constrain the physical characteristics of astronomical objects.


Next Word in the Dictionary: Astrophyton
Previous Word in the Dictionary: astrophyllite
All Words Near: astrophysics

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up astrophysics? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).