Career Options in Astronomy

Astronomy is one of the oldest and most fascinating sciences that deal with all the celestial bodies and the material universe which is beyond the earth's atmosphere. It is the science of the Universe that includes the study of nature, motion, constitution, law, possibility and history. Most importantly astrology deals with the possible future development of celestial bodies like the planets, sun, stars, meteors, comets, satellites, galaxies etc. Astronomy is at times considered as a sub-field of Physics. It is further divided into several branches such as Astrometeorology, Astrophysics, Astrogeology, Astrobiology, Cosmology, Astrometry etc. These branches when put together help to unfold the mysteries of the universe. It is one of the most amazing and promising career for those who want to pursue it. As each country is trying to make its mark in the field of celestial activities, the need for scientists in this field is increasing.

Professionals in the field – Astronomy:

Few of the most important qualities to become an astronomer are curiosity, enthusiasm and countless absorption. These professions are required to have an above average intelligence, high persistence,imagination, analytical skills and problem-solving skills. They must also possess both mathematical and computer skills. A large amount of patience is required in this field as the astronomer has to work long and irregular hours. Superior verbal and written communication skills are also required because most astronomers are required to work as part of a team. They should be capable of explaining scientific phenomena and bringing across the information in an easily captivating format and language.

An astronomer must apply equal measures of imagination and analytical thinking along with intuition and logic which is required to answer the most fundamental questions about the cosmos.

Astronomy Eligibility:

Those who want to take up astronomy as a career should pass their plus two examination under the science stream, with majors in math and physics. To take up a career in observational or theoretical astronomy a person may go through the science stream after plus two. As it is observed that there are very few universities which offer undergraduate program in Astronomy a person can join for a major or honors in Physics with Mathematics as the secondary subject. After this they can take up a master’s degree in Physics or Astronomy. After this one can do specialization in astronomy leading to Ph. D. which enables one to become an astronomer or astronaut or an astrophysicist or a scientist or a research officer etc. in the field of space sciences and research.

Career Options in Astronomy:

For the professionals in this field astronomy is divided into two major parts. This is theoretical astrophysics and observational astronomy. While the former is concerned with data analysis which is finding out the conclusions regarding the observations of computers along with explaining the observational results; the latter deal with observing celestial bodies by using binoculars, telescopes, cameras, eyes which unaided and gathering data for building and maintaining instruments. Theoretical astrophysics is anastrophysicist’s model data which is much more analytical.

Astronomy Salary and Remuneration:

The remuneration depends on the nature of work, experience and the kind of organization in the field. As a fresher in the research work, a junior can earn a monthly stipend of approximately Rs.10,000 per month. Government organization and research institutes employ astronomers who are very highly paid with many other perks and allowances.

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