What is the job description and role of an Astronomer? What are the duties and responsibilities of an Astronomer?
Astronomer Job Description
Astronomers study the ways in which various forms of matter and energy interact. Theoretical astronomers may study the nature of time or the origin of the universe. Physicists and astronomers in applied fields may develop new military technologies or new sources of energy, or monitor space debris that could endanger satellites.
Astronomers study planets, stars, galaxies, and other celestial bodies. They use ground-based equipment, such as radio and optical telescopes, and space-based equipment, such as the Hubble Space Telescope. With these they make observations and collect data on the motions, compositions, and other properties of the objects they study. Some astronomers focus their research on objects in our own solar system, such as the sun or planets. Others study distant stars, galaxies, and phenomena such as neutron stars and black holes, and some monitor space debris that could interfere with satellite operations.
Astronomers do basic research with the aim of increasing scientific knowledge. These researchers may attempt to develop theories that better explain what gravity is or how the universe works or was formed.
Astronomers and physicists typically work on research teams with engineers, technicians, and other scientists. Some senior astronomers and physicists may be responsible for assigning tasks to other team members and monitoring their progress. They may also be responsible for finding funding for their projects and therefore may need to write applications for research grants.
Job Description / Duties / Functions / Roles / Responsibilities of an Astronomer
- Do complex mathematical calculations to analyze physical and astronomical data, such as data that may indicate the existence of planets in distant solar systems
- Plan and conduct scientific experiments and studies to test theories and discover properties of matter and energy
- Write proposals and apply for research grants
- Write scientific papers that may be published in scholarly journals
- Present research findings at scientific conferences and lectures
- Develop scientific theories and models that attempt to explain the properties of the natural world, such as atom formation or the force of gravity
- Design new scientific equipment, such as telescopes and lasers
- Develop computer software to analyze and model data
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