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I need to know the definition of deep space. I am an amateur astronomer, and am experiencing some difficulty understanding this.

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    $\begingroup$ You may get better answers if you describe, in reasonable detail, what difficulty you have in understanding. $\endgroup$ – James K Apr 2 '16 at 17:54
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Deep space could be simply defined, as a part of the universe, which is lying beyond the Earth-Moon system. However, when speaking about deep space objects we generally mean stars, star clusters and nebulae, which are outside the Solar System.

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I wonder if perhaps you're overthinking things a little bit.

Places in the ocean that are very far below the Earth's surface are referred to as "deep waters". Deep space could be defined in the exact same way, but in the opposite direction.

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  • $\begingroup$ The question still stands, what do you define as "very far above the Earths surface"? The moon? The Sun? or even intergalactic space? $\endgroup$ – Dean Apr 2 '16 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Dean You miss my point, which is that any definition of relative terms like 'deep' and 'far' are **completely arbitrary. Ten feet below the water's surface is deep if you are in a swimming pool, but quite shallow if you are in an ocean. Similarly, the question of whether or not the Sun is in deep space or not has no fixed answer if no reference unit of length is first specified. $\endgroup$ – David H Apr 2 '16 at 13:37
  • $\begingroup$ Ah okay, i thought you were trying to answer the question with a definitive answer rather than bring up the point about it being arbitrarily defined. $\endgroup$ – Dean Apr 3 '16 at 20:33
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It's not in any sort of academic context, but in relation to space exploration NASA defines deep space as such:

Deep space is the vast region of space that extends beyond our Moon, to Mars and across our solar system.

Again, not exactly an academic context, but Govert Schiling (the author of Deep Space: Beyond the Solar System to the End of the Universe and the Beginning of Time) in relation to astronomy defines deep space differently:

In a sense, everything beyond Earth’s atmosphere is deep space. But more typically it’s a phrase that has been used by observational and amateur astronomers alike for extended objects beyond the Solar System. I decided to provide a brief introductory section on the Sun and the planets, but the emphasis is really on the objects in our Galaxy and the wider Universe.

So this more or less echoes what some others have contributed, but provides additional context.

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