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Job Description



Average Salary

Education Required

Astronomers use both ground based equipment and space-based equipment to make observations and collect data about space. Most astronomers choose to study one thing. For example, some astronomers study things like black holes, while others study objects in our own solar system.

There are two main paths to the career. Some of them like observing with big telescopes. They travel to exotic places in search of the darkest nights and the clearest skies. They go to Chile or Hawaii and get new data to either confirm their theories or to make new discoveries. Others like to make discoveries by applying math and physics to understand how the universe works, how it came to be and why it looks they way it does. They use both extremely powerful computers and the power of their brains.

Most astronomy positions require a Ph.D. in the field of astronomy, which usually takes 5-7 years to complete. These programs are likely to contain courses in astrophysics, stellar and planetary physics, galaxies, cosmology, interstellar medium and optics. You also need to be good at math and computer science.

Typical Day

$96,460 per year


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