What does a Astronomer do?
|Citation||Retrieved in 2017 from BLS.org|
An astronomer is a scientist who studies the universe. They focus on the stars, planets, moons, celestial objects, and other galaxies. Some of their studies are observational and they may come up with theories to support their observations. Astronomers can specialize in planetary astronomy, galactic astronomy, or physical cosmology and their primary work is done in laboratories or observatories.
How to Become an Astronomer
You would need to earn a bachelor’s degree and have a strong physics or science background. Once you earn your bachelor’s degree you would continue to work towards a master’s degree and then continue onto a PhD.
In total, it can take you anywhere from 7-9 years to become an astronomer after earning your undergraduate and graduate degrees. Your studies would include content on planets, starts, moons, galaxies, and the universe in general. The graduate degrees can also include managerial and research classes.
Job Description of an Astronomer
Astronomers are involved in the study of galaxies, stars, and planets using telescopes and even space-based equipment. Some astronomers may explore objects in the solar system while others study the origin of the universe, the nature of time, black holes, neutron stars, or other galaxies. They can also conduct scientific experiments to test theories and discover properties of energy and matter. They gather data from mathematical calculations to analyze information that may point to the existence of planets in distant solar systems.
If you are interested in Astronomy, you may like the WorldWide Telescope (link opens in a new window) website. The website functions as a virtual telescope and brings images from Earth and space-based telescopes that allow for seamless panning and zooming of the night sky!
NASA’s TV channel (link opens in a new window) is interesting and it’s easy to access online.