Is Astronomy in college hard? Do you do a lot of calculations?

By | November 10, 2015

I’ve always been fascinated with Astronomy and it’s the only branch of science I’m interested it. I took an online course (my first one!) in my college and it starts today.

I was wondering–since I’m going to be working ALONE in my online class, will it be difficult? Will there be a lot of calculations because I suck at math? Will it get frustrating? Please tell me it’s mostly about memorization. Thanks.

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8 thoughts on “Is Astronomy in college hard? Do you do a lot of calculations?

  1. Nasim

    look… my story is not too different…. i dont like maths. but if you give me a math problem in physics, i’d love to solve it.
    its all about passion, and not about you suck at something or you are good at it. If you really love astronomy, you’ll love everything that comes with it, be it maths or anything else….

    Good luck with your course!

  2. ?

    I’ve heard from others who’ve taken college-level astronomy that it does involve a lot of calculations. Don’t know much more than that though.

  3. jondalar469

    Yeh, astronomy has a lot of calculations in it. But they are mostly special, big fun calculations that everybody likes to do.

    See my answer to this question:

    That’s just a taste of astronomy math, celestial mechanics flavor. There are other flavors, too. For example, there’s the stellar structure flavor. And then there’s the general relativity flavor. Something for everybody.

  4. quantumclaustrophobe

    Depends on what you consider ‘hard’…. They cover right ascension & azimuth, and sometimes you’ll need to calculate locations of planets (In the daytime, we had to point the telescope accurately to find Venus, which *can* be seen in the blue sky).
    Once you get the concepts, though, it’s not bad.

  5. Tina L

    all scince requires math. you either do the math, or do something other than scince.

  6. David F

    I think it depends on your teacher. It can but it doesn’t have to. For instance, sometimes they will make you do calculations on how far stars are or stuff like that. Just check out reviews on the teacher and find out how they’ve taught it in the past.

  7. jjillylilly

    I took two semesters, lecture, not online. I totally suck at math too and just squeaked by the pre- requisite high school math but I did manage.
    I agree that a lot depends on your teacher, ours got a little frustrated at times and yelled “This is NOT Math people….it’s simple arithmatic!”

    Do you have a basic understanding of H.S algebra, and scientific notation? Or could you brush up on it?

    I have a feeling it’s not going to be as hard as you think because I doubt anyone could be worse than me at math and I was able to teach myself what I really needed online.

    And please, if the online class doesn’t work out, think about trying a lecture semester with a real, live teacher. There are different learning styles and the self-motivated internet style isn’t for everyone. It’s too great a thrill to miss.

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