Introduction

Astronomy is the science that deals with the physical universe, space and celestial objects. The sun, moon, stars, asteroids, comets, gas, galaxies, gas, dust, and other non-Earthly bodies and objects are all studied in astronomy.” As a result, this broad discipline encompasses a wide range of topics, including astrophysics, the branch of astronomy concerned with the physical workings of celestial bodies and space. Though astronomy and all that it entails is interesting in itself, you might be wondering where this knowledge will take you in terms of a career.

Astronomers are experts who study the universe, its objects, and the mechanisms that run it. They use observation and theoretical modelling to push the limits of human understanding about how the universe actually works You can work in observational astronomy, where you look at the stars, planets, and other celestial objects with telescopes and cameras, or theoretical astronomy, where you use algebra and computers to explain observations and predictions. Whether you work with real data from observatories or are involved in theoretical work, most modern research in astronomy involves significant computer programming and modelling.

Astrophysics, Astrometeorology, Astrobiology, Astrogeology, and Astrometry are some of the fields of astronomy.

Scope of astronomy

Careers in astronomy are quite diverse in which Planetary geologists, astrobiologists, cosmologists, and telescope model engineers are some of the astronomy jobs that are available. Some organisations employ public engagement specialists and your role as an astronomer can include sharing knowledge and designing programmes for school children and the general public in museums and planetariums. Although an undergraduate degree is sufficient to work in astronomy research, a PhD is required to advance in the field. Professors in astronomy usually have a PhD as well as often several years in postdoctoral jobs before landing a permanent job.

Nature of work

Generally astronomers are employed by universities or dedicated research institutes that are sometimes, but not always, affiliated with universities. Astronomers’ duties typically include:

  • Gathering and analysing data from sensors, satellites, and other observations
  • Applying for time to observe at international observatories
  • Preparing and conducting research projects to address basic questions
  • Reading existing scholarly literature
  • Placing own work in the light of other scholars’ work
  • Publishing science papers
  • Applying for research grants
  • Working with other scientists, sometimes on a global scale
  • Sharing your findings at conferences
  • Educating and mentoring students and postdoctoral scholars
  • Teaching astronomy or similar courses at institutes

How to become an astronomer

First, you have to complete intermediate in the science stream, especially in Mathematics & Physics. After that, you can join an undergraduate course in Astronomy. In addition to that, you can join for a bachelor’s degree in Physics or other related programs such as space science. Thereafter, you can join postgraduate degree in Physics or Astronomy. After competing master degree, you can do specialization in astronomy leading to Ph. D

If you’re interested in astronomical instrumentation, needed for research telescopes or space missions, then engineering degrees are often a prerequisite.

Best universities

  • University of Karachi
  • Institute of space technology
  • University of Punjab

For more details on institutes offering astronomy and related programs, visit https://www.eduvision.edu.pk/programs-offered-in-physics-numerical-sciences-at-bachelor-level-in-pakistan

Job Market

You can get a job in the following professions after a degree in astronomy:

  • Astronomer
  • Cosmologist
  • Researcher
  • Astronaut
  • Lecturer/ teacher
  • Jobs in SUPARCO
  • Job in NASA
  • International Astronomical center
  • Writer in international and national journals

Skills and qualities required to become an astronomer

You’ll need to have:

  • Strong physics, mathematics and statistics skills
  • Must have the knowledge of computer programmes and software
  • Excellent communication, both oral and written
  • Motivation and drive to study your area of research
  • Project management skills
  • Good observation skills are required.
  • Should have the capacity of solving complex problems and conducting research work.
  • The ability to train and mentor students
  • The ability to collaborate and work in a team

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