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How Hard Is Astronomy? [Everything You’ll Want To Know]

If you’re interested in studying astronomy, then one of your first and foremost questions will likely be, ‘is it hard?’. It’s a fair question. Besides, you want to know what you are getting yourself in for, and perhaps more importantly, if it’s within the realms of your competencies. 

So, how hard is astronomy? Astronomy definitely isn’t the easiest subject, where physics and math will be required to a great extent. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that there is a lot to learn in astronomy, with a curriculum that will take a lot of hard work and time to get through and even understand.   

It may be a wondrous topic, but if you’re keen to get into astronomy and perhaps even turn it into a profession, you’re going to need to be dedicated and keen to learn. 

So let’s look at what it’s like to actually learn astronomy before turning to those other more pertinent questions you may have.

What Is Studying Astronomy Like?

Studying astronomy entails the learning of celestial objects and wonders that the universe has to offer. From objects within our solar system to objects that can only be observed with the strongest telescopes known to man, studying astronomy is more than a few years of coursework. 

Although studying the topic through college can easily prepare you to take it on as a profession, there are also many resources available that give you the ability to study it on your own.

With a blend of chemistry, physics, math, and even a bit of programming, you’ll come out of schooling with a number of skills that are vital to pursue astronomy.

It’ll continue to be a profession that many will consider through college, but in the age of the internet, you can use resources online to teach yourself plenty about the subject.

Better yet, you can fine-tune the subject matter you’re looking for so you can explore specific interests regarding astronomy rather than a broad range of required coursework. 

You don’t have to take on astronomy as a profession to learn and explore what it has to offer. 

Even technology that’s used to learn about our universe is becoming more commercially available. 

It’s best to take a blended approach to astronomy by taking advantage of free education online in addition to using an affordable telescope to view celestial objects for yourself.

One asset you can use to your advantage is YouTube, which boasts an endless list of highly educational and visually informative videos. 

You can learn a lot about astronomy on paper, but being able to see what exists in the universe helps things make a little more sense. 

It really depends on how far you’re looking to delve into the topic. 

You may not need programming knowledge or a vast understanding of physics to grasp astronomy, but it certainly does help with the constant changes and happenings across the universe.

Another great way to study the topic is to work and talk with others who are equally interested in astronomy. 

This could be through online groups or even clubs that you can meet up with on a regular basis. 

It can be an exhilarating feeling every time you learn something new about the universe, but astronomy also has the ability to be quite confusing at times. 

If you use a combination of the resources mentioned above, you’ll be well on your way to learning all about what astronomy has to offer. 

Most people tend to be enthusiasts when it comes to our night sky, but if you’re looking to take it on as a profession, you can expect a much more challenging path. 

Astronomers tend to dedicate their lives to our universe while continuing their knowledge and providing new discoveries for the world to marvel at. 

Those who plan on merely spending their free time on the subject can take a more leisurely approach, as the universe will offer a lifetime of discovery and knowledge.

Is There a Lot of Math In Astronomy?

It may not be everyone’s favorite subject, but math is a part of astronomy that can’t be escaped. Math is required to understand many of the complexities of how the universe functions, and it has led to a lot of the facts and knowledge that we have access to today. 

If it weren’t for mathematics, there’s a lot about the universe that simply wouldn’t make sense at all. 

Of course, those who are taking college courses on astronomy can expect to deal with much more math than those who are learning on their own, primarily because many students are looking at a career as an astronomer.

Regardless of your grasp of mathematics, every aspect of astronomy you come across will deal with some kind of math. It’s how we understand the size, mass, and trajectory of many celestial objects.

There’s much more we have to learn about astronomy, but that’s exactly what drives many people to study it. 

No matter how far you get into the subject, you’ll always have the chance to learn something new. 

Even if you don’t consider yourself very in tune with various mathematics, utilizing technology and the internet can help guide your knowledge in a way you can understand. 

Not only does math play a vital role on its own, but it also relays into other topics within astronomy. 

Physics is a blend of math and science, and it’s no secret the topic can get quite convoluted. 

It’s full of complexities, many of which are necessary to understand, as it allows us to grasp the unique qualities of our universe and how it changes over time. 

It’s practiced on a small and large scale, as even using a simple telescope from home involves a bit of physics.

Humanity has come quite far with astronomy, but we have much farther to go. 

With each new discovery in our universe, math only becomes increasingly important. 

From another aspect, math has also helped us prepare for happenings in the universe that could potentially harm our planet, such as asteroids. 

In the same vein, experts have used an immense amount of math to get humans to the moon, and this becomes even more complicated with the distance we decide to travel.

Can I Study Astronomy Without Math?

Whether you’re looking to become an astronomer or simply want to study it in your free time, you won’t be able to escape math as it’s a core part of the subject. 

Moreover, mathematics is only becoming more important as we continue to learn about the universe. 

Even if you aren’t very interested in exploring math and how it pertains to the universe, it’ll help you understand how many celestial events occur.

Thankfully, there are many difficulty levels when it comes to math, and a lot of the information online simplifies the math for the general public to make it easier to digest. 

You don’t have to be a mathematics specialist to grasp the vast concepts that come with astronomy, so it shouldn’t deter you from exploring it on your own.

You should also consider that the more you understand math, including physics, will open up discoveries and wondrous bits of information regarding our universe. 

Although celestial objects offer plenty of beauty, they’re an extremely complex aspect of our existence, and it can be pretty mind-boggling at the same time. 

Although you can’t escape math within the subject of astronomy, those who follow it as a profession will have a lot more mathematics to deal with. 

If you’re looking to spend time with the night sky with your telescope at home, there’s plenty to enjoy that doesn’t require too much math.

Regardless of how far you’re looking to take your studies, math will be a part of nearly every step. 

As you progress, you’ll start to see how math is needed, and you may develop a newfound appreciation for the subject as you realize it’s the catalyst to many celestial discoveries. 

Astronomy requires a combination of information, but math is a part of nearly every aspect. 

A visual inspection of the universe may be the most exciting part, but we wouldn’t understand what we’re looking at without the power of mathematics.

It’s a subject that’ll continue to prepare us for our continued existence within the universe, as it’s pretty clear that we aren’t alone. 

With a massive list of known and unknown elements and potential life forms, it’s essential we navigate outer space with a thorough understanding before diving blindly into the dark. 

Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter how much we think we know; outer space will always amaze us with new discoveries that can be hard to fathom. 

That alone is what drives many professionals and astronomy enthusiasts to continue their studies and share what they learn with the world.

Astronomy doesn’t require a textbook understanding of mathematics to enjoy it, and you can use technology to your advantage to handle a lot of the complex math for you.

You can even purchase telescopes nowadays that can navigate and track objects in the night sky on their own, nearly providing a hands-free approach.

How To Succeed When Studying Astronomy?

The following suggestions will ensure that if you do decide to study astronomy, you get the most from what it has to offer:

Never Give Up Learning

It may sound pretty cliché, but the first step to succeeding when studying astronomy is to never give up on learning. 

It can sometimes be a daunting subject that can become quite complicated, but with all of the tools that are available online, the answers are literally at your fingertips. 

Share Information & Ideas

If you find yourself either losing interest or having trouble grasping certain concepts, this is where a support group would be helpful. 

Whether it’s online or in person, sharing your journey with others who share a similar interest in the subject can be quite motivating. 

Sharing information and ideas helps keep that spark alive that drives your interest in the subject, which will make your studies all the more enjoyable. 

Like anything in life, it’s possible to feel a little burnout, especially if you’re burying yourself in the study of astronomy. 

You can definitely pursue educating yourself in the field of astronomy on your own, but this will come with many more obstacles, and it could hinder your progress.

Work With Others

Working with others and staying involved in the subjects community is an excellent way to stay on the leading edge of what’s current and relevant to what you’re trying to learn. 

Always remember, studying astronomy is a lifelong endeavor, as the universe will provide an unending list of new discoveries that we aren’t even aware of. 

Some of which will change the way we look at life as a whole. 

You should let these truths fuel your enthusiasm on the subject, and every step you take along the way will feel like a breath of fresh air as outer space has never-ending wonder and beauty.

Be Patient & Consistent

It’s understandable to be quite excited about learning something new in astronomy, but it isn’t something that can be rushed. 

You could study all day, every day, and you’d barely make a dent in the amount of information that comes with astronomy. 

Taking a patient approach to your studies will ensure you retain more knowledge without adding too much stress to the equation. 

The universe is massive, and there’s a lot to be appreciated on a daily basis, but it doesn’t do any good to rush into the topic as you’re bound to miss many valuable pieces of information.

Consider Your Learning Resources

There’s so much information involved with the topic that it can be difficult to know where to start or stay on track. You can find a decent amount of concise yet detailed coursework online that’ll offer a step by step path to learning about the universe. 

It doesn’t hurt to look into it, as it’ll make your progress a bit smoother and remove a lot of the confusion that can come with studying on your own.

It can be relatively daunting when you take your first step into studying astronomy, but it shouldn’t scare you from getting started. 

Whichever path you decide to take, it should be evident that there’s plenty of support available to you along the way. 

You can look into pursuing a career as an astronomer or simply feed your interests from your own home with the help of the internet and a quality telescope to match.


It’s no secret that astronomy includes a learning curve, but finding education on the topic is far from impossible. 

Utilizing the public and sometimes free education that’s available is a great way to start, and there are many communities you can share your journey with as well.

It’s never too late to start, and it’s a subject that’ll provide new wonders, education, and discoveries for the rest of your life.

It may be challenging, but it’s worth the time and trouble.

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