What does a Astrophysicist do?

become an astrophysicist

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Astrophysicists are versatile professionals with a broad spectrum of expertise, drawing extensively from the fields of astronomy and physics. Their primary mission, as articulated by NASA, revolves around unraveling the universe’s mysteries, from understanding its origins and evolution to the quest for extraterrestrial life on distant exoplanets. This career requires a deep grasp of the laws governing the cosmos. Thus, this makes astrophysics a captivating and ever-evolving scientific endeavor. For a more immersive glimpse into their captivating work, consider watching a video that delves deeper into this awe-inspiring career field.

How to Become an Astrophysicist

Becoming an astrophysicist is a challenging but also an intellectually rewarding journey. For example, education typically begins by earning a bachelor’s degree in astronomy, physics, mathematics, or electronics. Therefore, a student gains a strong foundation in the fundamental principles of the universe before pursuing their master’s degree. A master’s degree continues their studies of space and advanced mathematics. Ultimately, an astrophysicist will go on to attend a rigorous doctoral program. At this stage, individuals engage in cutting-edge research and contribute valuable insights to the field.

To secure employment in this competitive field, astrophysicists may need to showcase published scholarly works, research projects, or conference presentations, demonstrating their expertise and contributions to our understanding of the cosmos. This path demands dedication and a profound passion for unraveling the mysteries of the universe.

Teacher Resources

In the video, The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses why he became an astrophysicist. Cornel University also offers a free Relativity and Astrophysics course on EdX.org.

Article Citations

Image Credit: NASA/MSFC. Photo of Astrophysicist Chryssa Kouveliotou.

NASA Astrophysics at science.nasa.gov (link opens in a new tab).

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