Dr. Aaron Titus | Department of Physics, High Point University
PHY1050      Astronomy of Stars, Galaxies, and the Cosmos
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Math and Science Review

Do not let math scare you off from astronomy.

It's true that you will need to know some mathematics in order to understand some concepts in astronomy. It's also true that mathematics is the language of the physical sciences. However, you don't have to let the math get in the way of enjoying astronomy.

Math is not the focus of this astronomy course. There are only three math topics you need to know:

  • how to multiply and divide numbers or variables with exponents
  • how to write large numbers using scientific notation (powers of 10)
  • how to use proportional reasoning to understand relationships between variables

You will do few calculations in this course. In fact, most of the calculations will be pre-programmed in spreadsheets. Thus, you'll often only enter your measurements, and the spreadsheet will do the calculation for you.