#21. Cosmogony

Image one word each day cosmogony


(9 letters | 4 syllables)
(scrabble score -17 points)noun | the branch of astrophysics that studies the origin and evolution and structure of the universe.

(Wolfram Alpha)

[plural cosmogonies]
a theory of the origin of the universe
the creation or origin of the world or universe




Origin and Etymology of cosmogony
New Latin cosmogonia, from Greek kosmogonia, from kosmos + gonos offspring; akin to Greek genos race — more at kin

First Known Use: 1696
(Merriam – Webster)

cosmogony, in astronomy, study of the evolutionary behaviour of the universe and the origin of its characteristic features. For scientific theories on the unsolved problem of the origin of the solar system, see planetesimal; protoplanet; solar nebula. For an outline of the development of astronomical ideas regarding the structure of the universe, see cosmology;


From NASA instructional PDF


The designers of this Cosmic Chemistry module struggled with its title. Should it be named Cosmogony or Cosmology?
Cosmology is the study of the structure and changes in the present universe, while the scientific field of cosmogony is
concerned with the origin of the universe. Observations about our present universe may not only allow predictions to be
made about the future, but they also provide clues to events that happened long ago when the chemical evolution of the
cosmos began. So–the work of cosmologists and cosmogonists overlaps.
Genesis, the name of the NASA mission for which this module was created, means “the beginning,” so this module could
appropriately be entitled Cosmogony. Library searches under this keyword, however, came up relatively empty. Most, if not
all, the resources listed at the end of the module, were found under the topic of “Cosmology.” This may be because the
materials in most of these references are based on past and present scientific findings of the cosmic structure. At the same
time, most of them also included some reference to the theories of the cosmic beginnings.
Therefore, it was decided to maintain the title of Cosmogony for the module, while at the same time, using the terminology
presently found in common use in references—cosmology and cosmologists—in the textual material. Students are
introduced to definitions of these terms in the Student Text, “Tracing Origins.”
[NASA on Genesis search for origins project


cosmogony (n.) Look up cosmogony at Dictionary.com
1690s as “a theory of the creation;” 1766 as “the creation of the universe,” from Latinized form of Greek cosmogonic objectiviation “creation of the world,” from kosmos “world, universe” (see cosmos) + -gonia “a begetting,” from gonos “birth” (see genus)

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