Astronomer  What They Do

Just the Facts

Astronomers Career Video

Observes, researches, and interprets astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems.

This career is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster Science and Mathematics pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Studies celestial phenomena, using a variety of ground-based and space-borne telescopes and scientific instruments.
  • Analyzes research data to determine its significance, using computers.
  • Presents research at scientific conferences and in scientific journals.
  • Measures radio, infrared, gamma, and x-ray emissions from extraterrestrial sources.
  • Develops theories based on personal and other astronomers observations.
  • Raises funds for scientific research.
  • Collaborates with other astronomers on research, develops theories, and presents findings.
  • Develops instrumentation and software for astronomical observation and analysis.
  • Teaches astronomy or astrophysics.
  • Develops astronomy-related programs for public presentation.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.

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Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Astronomy Professor --
  • Astrophysicist --
  • Observatory Director --
  • Professor --
  • Research Scientist --
  • Scientist --
  • Space Sciences Director --