Theoretical and Computational Astronomy
The mysteries behind this endless universe has always attracted and fascinated astrophysicists and astronomy was the subject that helped them understand the universe in a better way. With the advancement of computer technology, new horizons have opened up in the field of theoretical astronomy and the ability of human beings to study the cosmos has escalated. Today, computational astronomy is being used to discover and study new phenomena and analyze and predict behaviors of various celestial bodies.
Astronomy is one of the oldest existing sciences since the beginning of human civilization and it is categorized into two segments; observational and theoretical. Observational astronomy deals with study of light and other electromagnetic radiations from multiple sources using various methods. Theoretical astronomy uses the conventional tools of physics and chemistry to create analytical models and describe the astronomical phenomena. The two branches compliment and support each other with their results. With the advent of supercomputers, computational astronomy has become an integral part of theoretical astronomy.
The advantages of computational astronomy
Computational astronomy uses tools and algorithms to simulate models and match them with the analytical ones. It is also used to study and analyze the huge data collected from large telescopes and other instruments in a fast and efficient manner. The models created by the
computers have given the researchers a new window to visualize and explore the otherwise invisible occurrences in the universe.
The extraordinary cosmological processes like the formation of a black hole or the collision between two galaxies take millions of years to happen. With the methods of computational astronomy, these can be easily simulated and studied in a laboratory thereby bringing them
within the timescale of human beings. The high energy changes that takes place inside a black hole or a star like a sun can also be studied by creating a model or simulation of the interiors of that particular phenomenon.
The evolution and changes in astrophysical objects in space are governed by complex hydrodynamic equations. A computer can solve these equations by using the right algorithms that take care of the various factors like gravity, magnetic fields and various pressures. These algorithms also accurately capture the most important factors like time and the enormous mass involved in these cosmological processes.
Cosmology is one area where scientists have miles to go through the infinite universe as more complex and dynamic evolutions of physical systems are coming into the forefront. To keep up with these new challenges, computational astrophysics needs to upgrade the existing techniques
by incorporating new innovations. In this way, more accurate simulations can be created to allow the scientists to delve deeper into the complex physics of occurrences like black hole radiations.
Astrophysics in one unique field of science where the celestial phenomenon that is studied is mostly beyond our reach. The physical processes taking place are also impossible to recreate and study in the laboratories because of their scope and length in the scale of time. So the best way to approach them is by using the capability of computers and computational astronomy is the right tool to help us in discovering more about the
universe in future.