I am just curious about why it is the case. It seems to me that it is even true when compared with Cosmology, which studies similar things. I feel that the people just want to look at stars, and I have ever met people that know what Astronomy is but not Physics. This give me an impression that Astronomy is more like an amateur field. I know it is not, and the real research often involves huge amount of data analysis.

Anyone can give explanation to me?

  • $\begingroup$ Is it because looking at the stars is easily accessible to everyone (or most people), whilst cosmology isn't available to the general population every single night? $\endgroup$
    – Carl
    Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 10:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Carl How about physics then? Here have many enthusiast so I guess they can give a good anserw $\endgroup$
    – unsym
    Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, many people are interested in physics, but the general public as you say are more interested in the astronomy side of it. I think that's simply because it's more accessible to them. $\endgroup$
    – Carl
    Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


Cosmology is a little abstruse for some people, even astrophysics in general can often seem daunting to the general public. Atomic/molecular/optical physics, particle physics, and condensed matter physics are similarly obscure.

Applied physics is interesting to some people, but it is heavily dependant on what their other interests are.

Astronomy on the other hand has a very old tradition, and in its simplest form just involves looking up at the night sky.

Space has the added benefit of being "the final frontier" to many, because we see Earth everyday but space is far removed from us. This makes it wondrous and mysterious.


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