Glossary term: Scientific Model

Description: Scientific models can be physical, mathematical, conceptual, or analogic, and they aim to represent and/or explain some aspect(s) of a process, system, or phenomena. Scientific models can also be used to make predictions, although that does not mean models that do not make predictions are not scientific. Scientific models are not always meant to be "factual" representations of the world, but rather they are tools for allowing us to explore concepts that would otherwise be abstract, intangible, and challenging to understand. One example is the geocentric model: although it does not represent the reality of the Solar System, it is used when discussing ideas related to the celestial sphere. Sometimes multiple models may be required to fully explain a concept.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition have been approved by a research astronomer and a teacher

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".