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How can I start a career in astronomy?

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How can I start a career in astronomy?

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Answer:

Astronomers use ground-based equipment, such as radio and optical telescopes, and space-based equipment, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, to study planets, stars, galaxies, and other celestial bodies. Some of them study distant stars, galaxies, and phenomena such as neutron stars and black holes, and others monitor space debris that could interfere with satellite operations. To become one, you will need a Ph.D. in physics or astronomy for jobs in research and academia, starting with a temporary postdoctoral research position as a gateway to careers in the academia.

You will need to complete a bachelor's degree in physics or astronomy as preparation for Ph.D. programs in astronomy. This will equip you with a broad background in the natural sciences and mathematics, with courses in classical and quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, optics, and electromagnetism. It is advisable to participate in an internship program to gain hands-on experience by taking advantage of the directory of internships for astronomy students provided by the American Astronomical Society. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for astronomers was $114,590 in May 2019, with the top industries in Federal government (excluding postal service) and Colleges, universities, and professional schools (state, local, and private).

For more information about a career in astronomy, check out this article: Astronomer: Job Info & Career Requirements

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