July 3, 2020

Astronomy as a career: astronomer

Are you wondering who an astronomer is? Why choose astronomy as a career? And many more questions flooding your heart. Well, you have come to the right place.

Astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies.

Who is an astronomer?

Astronomer increase our understanding of the universe, and our place in it. 

When you look up into the sky at night you see the stars as pretty twinkling lights. An astronomer admires the beauty of the stars and other celestial objects and wants to learn what they are and how they work.

An astronomer is a scientist who tries to understand and interpret the Universe beyond Earth and the Earth within the Universe. Using observational tools like space and ground-based observatories, computers and the good old paper and pencil. Astronomers attempt to build up a picture, not only of what the Universe is like today but what it was like billions of years ago, right back to the “Big Bang”.

To do this Astronomers have to understand the behavior of matter in conditions that simply do not exist on Earth, whether at extreme temperatures or involving exotic objects and particles. They must use whatever kind of light, from radio to gamma rays, and particles (from cosmic rays to neutrinos) make it to Earth, along with sophisticated computers to piece together what happens beyond our planet.  Astronomers are scientists.

How much will you earn when you choose astronomy as career ?

The median annual wage for astronomers is $105,680. job growth at a rate of 10%, adding 2,400 jobs by 2022.

What’s the career path of an astronomer?

After getting a Ph.D., astronomers usually spend three to six years in one or more postdoctoral positions in universities or research institutions. Afterward, astronomers look for steady positions as researchers or group leaders either in a university department, national facility, or government research center.

Eventually, astronomers are granted university tenure, a permanent position where they generally work for the rest of their careers.  Astronomy is a small field, but very popular. Only those with a strong education, ability and a deep passion for the subject are likely to find a permanent position.

However, training as an astronomer can open doors in many related fields including other research areas, industrial research, commercial or industrial enterprises, education, public relations, and outreach.

Astronomers may specialize in one of several sub-disciplines:
  • Planetary astronomers focus on the life cycles of planets and the discovery of new planets near other stars.
  • Stellar astronomers study the life cycles of stars, and stellar phenomena such as black holes, nebulae (from which stars are born), white dwarfs, supernovas, and pulsars.
  • Solar astronomers study the sun’s systems and characteristics, such as its atmospheres, magnetic field, and storms. They may also research new methods of studying the sun.
  • Galactic astronomers study the Milky Way galaxy, the galaxy in which we live.
  • Cosmologists study the origin, history, and potential futures of the entire universe. Cosmology is an active field of study with several important theories under development, including string theory, dark matter and energy, and multiverses

Samuel Adekunle

The CEO of this blog

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