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Astronomer » Learn More

Depending on their field of work, astronomers may do some or all of the following

  • study the formation, structure and evolution of stars, galaxies, planets and the universe
  • write their own computer programs and analysis techniques
  • work on research projects individually or with other astronomers, often from other countries
  • write research papers for scientific journals
  • present talks at conferences
  • teach and/or promote astronomy or astrophysics at universities
  • do administration work for observatories.

Astronomers need to have

  • knowledge of astronomy
  • research skills
  • skill in analysing and interpreting research results and other information
  • practical skills for performing experiments and operating scientific equipment
  • problem-solving skills
  • planning and organisational skills
  • communication skills
  • writing skills, for writing reports and for publications
  • maths and computer skills.

Astronomers need to be

  • persevering and patient, as analysing large quantities of data is time-consuming and they may need to wait for long periods between observations
  • able to initiate new research
  • able to work on several tasks at the same time and meet deadlines
  • able to work well independently and as part of a team.