Astronomy quite literally puts the entire universe at your disposal when you are assigned a research paper. Picking a topic can be overwhelming when you look up into the sky and think of the billions of star and dollars that have been spent on astronomical research. That research provides valuable access to your own inquiry into multiple topics and ideas that were not even known about half a century ago.
The astronauts and the historically significant unmanned missions may get all the glory and fame, but much of what is known about the universe among astronomers has been gleaned not from what was found off the globe, but right here on earth. Thousands of meteors fall to earth every year and these specimens provide a wealth of information about the materials created billions of years ago that formed the planets and satellites studied by astronomers.
Pluto may have been officially disqualified as a planet a few years ago, but debate still exists over this decision. A research paper into astronomy could attack this topic from the angle of whether the International Astronomical Union’s decision to downgrade Pluto was correct scientifically speaking or whether it was a questionable decision based upon its impact on the educational system. Since the decision was made, thousands of school supplies have become obsolete.
Astronomers have been looking toward the skies and consulting their star maps for centuries to try to find a correlation between an astronomical event and the Star of Bethlehem. This research paper could cover the history of these attempts, try to find a possible explanation by itself or examine the larger philosophical issue of whether a science like astronomy should be used to prove issues of faith.
The media attention given the Mayans and their calendar spelling out worldwide doom in 2012 means a likely increase in research papers on astronomy that delve into that pre-Columbian civilization. The Mayans were not alone in studying the cosmos and that provides an ample opportunity to turn in a paper that covers the same territory without being too similar to another person’s. Research papers could focus on Incan, Chinese and Egyptian astronomy.
The Hubble Constant measures the rate of expansion of the universe. Ultimately, what the Hubble Constant accomplishes is to provide a measurement of the fractional increase for the scale of the universe in unit time. The problem is that the precise value of this measurement is still being debated and remains uncertain. A research paper could examine the topic of uncertainty in astronomy or it could merely provide an extensive explanation for why the Hubble Constant is such a vitally important element in astronomical study.