When people think of astronomy, they often think of stargazing and the many beautiful images that come from telescopes. However, astronomy is a science. That means astronomy is a lot of hard work and a lot of math.
When many people picture an astronomer at work, they think of someone huddling in a cold, dark observatory, squinting through a telescope. Luckily, this is one hardship astronomers no longer have to endure. Astronomers spend very little of their time observing at telescopes. At the observatory, the telescope and camera are controlled usually by computers in a warm, well-lit room, with a coffee maker or tea kettle right at hand.
Astronomers spend most of their time analyzing data with computers. They also are often teachers at colleges and universities.
If you need to interview an astronomer for a school project:
Please remember that, as stated in the Rules this is not the best place to find an astronomer to interview. We are graduate students who volunteer our time to answer questions, and interviews can be very time-consuming. If you cannot find anyone else to interview, keep in mind that we can take as long as a few weeks to answer questions, and sometimes we simply cannot answer all the email that we receive. You are much more likely to get a prompt answer if you:
- Read the previously answered questions and do not duplicate them!
- Only send a small number of well thought-out questions.
Teachers who would like assign students to use the Curious website should read our Guidelines for Teachers page.
- What's the difference between astronomy and astrology? (Beginner)
- Do most astronomers believe in God based on the available scientific evidence? (Beginner)
- Do astronomers believe in astrology? (Beginner)
- How do astronauts use math in their jobs? (Beginner)
- How does astronomy benefit humankind? (Beginner)
- What are some astronomy science fair projects? (Beginner)
- How can I nominate myself for a Nobel Prize in Physics? (Beginner)
- What's the difference between astronomy and astrophysics? (Intermediate)
- How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate)
- How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate)
- What other careers involve Astronomy besides Astronomer? (Intermediate)
- How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate)
- What do I need to do to become an astronomer? (Beginner)
- What is the approximate GPA needed in High School in Math and Science to be an astronomer? (Beginner)
- Which American colleges teach astronomy? (Beginner)
- What kind of schooling is necessary to become an astronomer? (Intermediate)
- What's the best college for astronomy? (Intermediate)
- How do I become both an astronaut and an astronomer? (Intermediate)
- What skills do astronomers need? (Beginner)
- How much time do astronomers spend looking through telescopes? (Beginner)
- What's the best thing about being an astronomer? (Beginner)
- How do astronomers use math in their jobs? (Beginner)
- How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner)
- What companies or businesses can astronomers work for? (Beginner)
- Can you describe a day on the job as an astronomer? (Beginner)
- Aren't jobs in astronomy scarce? (Intermediate)
- How much money do astronomers make? (Intermediate)
- What kinds of jobs do astronomers do? (Intermediate)
- What are the different kinds of astronomers? (Intermediate)
The Ask an Astronomer team's favorite links about Careers in Astronomy:
- Frequently Asked Questions about Being an Astronomer from the National Optical Astronomy Observatories
- Careers in Astronomy: Information from the American Astronomical Society
- Questions About Careers in Astronomy from UC Berkeley Ask an Astronomer
- 61 FAQs about a Career in Astronomy from Sten Odenwald's Astronomy Cafe
- Astronomy as a Career from Ask an Astronomer at Lick Observatory
- Astronomy as a Profession from from NASA Goddard's Ask an Astrophysicist
- Cool Cosmos Ask an Astronomer (see "Space Jobs")
- Astronomy as a Career from McDonald Observatory's Ask an Astronomer
This page was last updated on February 18, 2016.
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