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Careers in astronomy

  1. Feb 28, 2005 #1
    How many people here work at an observatory, fulltime- if even such a thing exsists? What work do you typically do? Aside from teaching careers, what are my options in this field?

    Me Im really into theoretical physics, Im familiar with any physics term you throw at me, but dont quite cut it when it comes to math(I read around it), I know what your thinking... But I definatly want to go into a field related to physics but know right now I will not get through the math, and perhaps thought that astronomy would be a good idea, and alot easier. I mean what could be more fun than looking at the stars? And yes I realize that astronomy requires a considerable knowledge of math but Im hoping not so much. But again, what careers are there and what are the requirements? Or should astronomy be considered more of a hobby than being able to have a career in it?

    Or you can just tell me what questions I should be asking given the topic.

    OK what is the Least math involved career in physics or astronomy? ;) / just kidding
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2005 #2
    Astronomers don't really "work full time" at observatories: the typical one spends maybe a week observing at one and six months analyzing all the data that's been collected. It's true that there are people who maintain the instruments, but they're not astronomers. So there are a few out there who do, but most astronomers can be found in the world of academia instead.
    Astronomers don't just "look at stars" either, unless you happen to be someone working on a robotic sky survey and such (such as LINEAR). Astronomy is physics, albeit applied physics, and the more physics you have the better your life is Many graduate schools, in fact, prefer an undergrad physics major to an undergrad astronomy one unless you come from a school where you're practically getting a degree in physics in the astro department.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2005
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