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What They Do

Astronomers Career Video

About This Career

Observes, researches, and interprets astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or applies such information to practical problems.

This career is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster Science and Mathematics pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Mentors graduate students and junior colleagues.
  • Presents research findings at scientific conferences and in papers written for scientific journals.
  • Collaborates with other astronomers to carry out research projects.
  • Analyzes research data to determine its significance, using computers.
  • Studies celestial phenomena, using a variety of ground-based and space-borne telescopes and scientific instruments.
  • Supervises students' research on celestial and astronomical phenomena.
  • Raises funds for scientific research.
  • Teaches astronomy or astrophysics.
  • Develops instrumentation and software for astronomical observation and analysis.
  • Measures radio, infrared, gamma, and x-ray emissions from extraterrestrial sources.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Astrophysicist
  • Research Scientist
  • Scientist
  • Data Scientist


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