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Astrophysics is the combination of physics and astronomy that extends outwards into the solar system and the universe at large. It is the study of galaxies, stars, planets, their processes and interactions.

It is an incredibly varied field in which to study. Some have a core focus on the physical and chemical processes of celestial bodies, for example the inner workings of stars or planets. Other courses deal with the history of astrophysics and cosmology, by studying the formation of galaxies and the beginnings of the universe itself.

Astrophysics is a much rewarded field in which to study. Each week a new discovery is made, from a new extra-solar planet to mathematical breakthroughs in the inner workings of black holes.

Graduates can find employment in sectors ranging from the exploration of space to computer programming. Mapping the solar system is essential work for charting possible dangers to Earth, including comets and solar flares. Extending beyond the solar system, astrophysics is beginning to gain an understanding about humanity’s place in the universe.

Students wishing to obtain a degree in astrophysics can find excellent courses in a number of institutions nationwide. The courses of note are from Greenwich College to the universities of York and Glasgow.