Where to start in astrophysics
Popular Science and Astrophysics: Where to start?
A good place for aspiring Astrophysicists to start is to read the popular science books such as Stephen Hawking's "A Briefer History of Time" and Kip Thorne's "Black Holes and Time Warps" as well as the popular science magazines "New Scientist" and "Scientific American". They offer a flavour of what Astrophysics is about, they pose daunting and perplexing questions while attempting to provide erudite answers: How well do we understand the Universe?
They serve to provide a 'taster' and it is highly recommended to read about Astrophysics in a popular context before attempting to fully tackle an Astrophysics degree. This is especially true for inquisitive teenagers, if they can follow the arguments provided by popular science books then they will have a far better start over someone whom has not read said books. If these books seem too difficult or are too boring then it would be better to think about doing another degree. Succinctly, Astrophysics is a tough degree and requires a lot of effort. At times it may seem boring or very challenging but this is as much a test of character as it is a test of intellect.
If these books hold your interest and you still want to pursue Astrophysics then keep reading.