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Analysis is the process of dividing a phenomenon into parts that appear to be separate.

As a part of theoretical astronomy, an analysis allows the investigator to determine which parts are already understood by previous observations and applicable models.

Previous analysis should have its findings verified statistically by comparing model-generated calculations with numerical observations.

The analysis and subsequent discussion and conclusions constitute analytical astronomy.


This ultraviolet-wavelength image mosaic, taken by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), shows a comet-like "tail" stretching 13 light years across space. Credit: NASA.

A nomy (Latin nomia) is a "system of laws governing or [the] sum of knowledge regarding a (specified) field."[1] Nomology is the "science of physical and logical laws."[1]

When any effort to acquire a system of laws or knowledge focusing on an astr, aster, or astro, that is, any natural body in the sky especially at night,[1] succeeds even in its smallest measurement, astronomy is the name of the effort and the result.



  1. "[d]ecomposition into components in order to study (a complex thing, concept, theory...)",[2]
  2. the "action of taking something apart to in order to study it",[3]
  3. the "mathematical study of functions, sequences, series, limits, derivatives and integrals",[3] or
  4. the "process of breaking down a substance into its constituent parts",[3]

is called analysis.

Def. "a minute and detailed examination or analysis"[4] is called a dissection.

Theoretical analytical astronomy[edit]


"Analytical X-ray astronomy is applied to an astronomy puzzle in an attempt to provide an acceptable solution. Consider the following puzzle."[5]

"High-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs) are composed of OB supergiant companion stars and compact objects, usually neutron stars (NS) or black holes (BH). Supergiant X-ray binaries (SGXBs) are HMXBs in which the compact objects orbit massive companions with orbital periods of a few days (3–15 d), and in circular (or slightly eccentric) orbits. SGXBs show typical the hard X-ray spectra of accreting pulsars and most show strong absorption as obscured HMXBs. X-ray luminosity (Lx) increases up to 1036 erg·s−1 (1029 watts)."[5]

"The mechanism triggering the different temporal behavior observed between the classical SGXBs and the recently discovered supergiant fast X-ray transients (SFXT)s is still debated.[6]"[5]

"Aim: use the discovery of long orbits (>15 d) to help discriminate between emission models and perhaps bring constraints on the models."[5]

"Method: analyze archival data on various SGXBs such as has been obtained by INTEGRAL for candidates exhibiting long orbits. Build short- and long-term light curves. Perform a timing analysis in order to study the temporal behavior of each candidate on different time scales."[5]

"Compare various astronomical models:

  • direct spherical accretion
  • Roche-Lobe overflow via an accretion disk on the compact object."[5]

"Draw some conclusions: for example, the SGXB SAX J1818.6-1703 was discovered by BeppoSAX in 1998, identified as a SGXB of spectral type between O9I−B1I, which also displayed short and bright flares and an unusually very low quiescent level leading to its classification as a SFXT.[6] The analysis indicated an unusually long orbital period: 30.0 ± 0.2 d and an elapsed accretion phase of ~6 d implying an elliptical orbit and possible supergiant spectral type between B0.5-1I with eccentricities e ~ 0.3–0.4.[6] The large variations in the X-ray flux can be explained through accretion of macro-clumps formed within the stellar wind.[6]"[5]

"Choose which model seems to work best: for SAX J1818.6-1703 the analysis best fits the model that predicts SFXTs behave as SGXBs with different orbital parameters; hence, different temporal behavior.[6]"[5]

Classical history[edit]

The classical history period dates from around 2,000 to 1,000 b2k.

"The basic trigonometry of Hipparchus was extended by scholars in Baghdad into spherical trigonometry under the stimulus of astronomical calculation. Al Farghani (d 861) first calculated longitudes and wrote down the elements of analytical astronomy."[7]



  1. Analysis of observations allows the differentiation of contributory sources.

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Philip B. Gove, ed. (1963). Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, Massachusetts: G. & C. Merriam Company. p. 1221. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3723: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3723: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  4. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3723: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 3723: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Zurita Heras JA, Chaty S (2009). "Discovery of an eccentric 30 day period in the supergiant X-ray binary SAX J1818.6–1703 with INTEGRAL". Astronomy and Astrophysics 493 (1): L1. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:200811179. 
  7. John Warren (2005). "War and the Cultural Heritage of Iraq: a sadly mismanaged affair". Third World Quarterly 26 (4-5): 815-30. doi:10.1080/01436590500128048. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01436590500128048. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Manuel Güdel (September 2004). "X-ray astronomy of stellar coronae". The Astronomy and Astrophysics Review 12 (2-3): 71–237. doi:10.1007/s00159-004-0023-2. 

External links[edit]