Overview and Key Facts
Jobs in 2031
What Do They Do?An astronomer could...
Overview Listen to this sectionAstronomers think big! They want to understand the entire universe—the nature of the Sun, Moon, planets, stars, galaxies, and everything in between. An astronomer's work can be pure science—gathering and analyzing data from instruments and creating theories about the nature of cosmic objects—or the work can be applied to practical problems in space flight and navigation, or satellite communications.
Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of an Astronomer?
- Reading Comprehension: ? Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Science: ? Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Critical Thinking: ? Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Writing: ? Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Listening: ? Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Active Learning: ? Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Mathematics: ? Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Speaking: ? Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Judgment and Decision Making: ? Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Learning Strategies: ? Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Core TasksThink about if you'd like the typical tasks an Astronomer might do:
- Mentor graduate students and junior colleagues.
- Present research findings at scientific conferences and in papers written for scientific journals.
- Analyze research data to determine its significance, using computers.
- Collaborate with other astronomers to carry out research projects.
- Study celestial phenomena, using a variety of ground-based and space-borne telescopes and scientific instruments.
- Supervise students' research on celestial and astronomical phenomena.
- Raise funds for scientific research.
- Teach astronomy or astrophysics.
- Develop instrumentation and software for astronomical observation and analysis.
- Measure radio, infrared, gamma, and x-ray emissions from extraterrestrial sources.
- Review scientific proposals and research papers.
- Develop theories based on personal observations or on observations and theories of other astronomers.
- Calculate orbits and determine sizes, shapes, brightness, and motions of different celestial bodies.
- Serve on professional panels and committees.
- Develop and modify astronomy-related programs for public presentation.
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