Just curious if there are any folks lurking around who are into astrophysics beyond watching a documentary on the science channel periodically?
Personally, I have been involved since 2015. These days I now help curate a Facebook group and article blogging site dedicated to amateur astrophysics development.
Amateur astronomy is a very well known and developed field, however amateur astrophysics trails shamefully behind by comparison. I’ve even read articles by astrophysicists in the field which outright ask the question: “Where (the hell) are all the amateur astrophysicists?”.
It’s hard going, honestly. Because the field is one that covers a range of fields within it, and that it’s quite heavily more math involved and mostly lacks physical equipment to collect and tinker with, and further because many professionals in the field currently still approach amateurs with a very, very cautious approach to what few amateur astrophysics communities there are.
This is understandable, because amateur astrophysics definitely has a bad history of producing a LOT of quacks that claim to have “solve everything”, or proven that Einstein was wrong, or . Such individuals also tend to be very aggressively defensive and often have an incomplete comprehension of what they are claiming to have accomplished. In other words, the “woowoo” is pretty strong in this neck of the woods…unfortunately.
That said, some push on, regardless (though it is, indeed, a challenge to find valid and non-quack amateur astrophysicists).
My current project over the past few years involves cataloging and analyzing exoplanetary system orbital propagation trends, as well as astrosphere propagation trends, and then deriving a mathematical description of the trends from a data analytics point of view (rather than a mechanical description of the constituent physics). The main purpose of this approach is in cataloging and collation of data sets and theoretical models - as, for example, no two research groups are currently using the same theoretical model for calculating astrosphere distances, nor are they often cross referencing each other’s models or research. Being able to define a means of trend analysis and a model’s deviation from a given baseline, then, could be beneficial in determining trend differences between differing theoretical model sets.