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How to Become an Astronomer

October 15, 2015

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Are you fascinated by the night sky? Do you catch yourself star-gazing? If so, you may want to become an astronomer - find out how!

What is an Astronomer?

The Universe is infinitely interesting - no really! Ask any astronomer, they study the Universe and the objects within it. Because it is literally a BIG subject, most astronomers focus on a particular part. You can be a specialist in galaxies, stars, the sun, planets, the origin of the Universe or even the search for extra-terrestrials (if you're really out there.)

Are you a star-gazer?Are you a star-gazer?

Astronomer is one of the oldest professions. As long as we've had questions about the Universe, there have been scientists who tried to discover the answers.When it comes to astronomy, if you can dream it, you can study it! You might say finding astronomy is your passion is like falling into a black hole (in a good way.)

So if you're obsessed with stars (and we don't mean celebs) and you're not afraid to hit the books, Astronomer could be the career for you!

Ancient civilizations studied astronomyAncient civilizations studied astronomy

School to Sky

Before you can study the sky, delve into the origin of the Universe and get lost in the galaxy, you'll have to hit the books. And not just for a day - for a long time. Astronomy requires a good understanding of math, physics, and some other sciences. Astronomy is recommended for people who are logical and have good reasoning skills. 

Astronomy can mean the study of stars, planets, galaxies and moreAstronomy can mean the study of stars, planets, galaxies and more

You'll need to study math and/or astronomy or astrophysics at university, and once you've finished your degree you'll need to go back for a postgraduate degree.

University might be a long way away, but you can still prepare to be an astronomer by reading as much as you can, watching programs about the Universe and learning to spot constellations. Think about getting some amateur astronomy gear (hint: telescope!), join an astronomy club or try learning about the night sky on a phone app, like Sky Map.

A Day in the Life

You might be wondering what it's like for astronomers at work. Depending on what you study, you could be a university professor, you might work on research or you even might help plan space missions! 

Check out this video on the sizes of the planets - it's out of this world!

 

Have Your Say

Would you consider becoming an astronomer? Let us know in the comments section below!