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Requisites for astronomy and/or astrophysic

  1. Sep 28, 2010 #1
    Hi everyone!
    I was wondering what kind of skills i have to bring with me to study astronomy or astrophysics.. Oh and do I have to be a "math genius", or is math not as important as in other branches? I'm talking about pure theoretical math..

    Thanks everyone!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2010 #2
    Look at the university entrance requirements for studying astronomy - "math genius" isn't one of them! But if you aren't getting straight A's in physics and maths throughout school I wouldn't consider it, unless you are lazy when it comes to revision - and, if so, you need to get working hard *now*, and if you still don't get straight As (with maybe the odd B) then start thinking about plumbing (it pays a lot better anyway...) That will not be enough to get you a job in astronomy, of course. I was always top of science & math classes in school, took astronomy all the way to MSc level, and still ended up working in IT (that pays better as well... :) I'm not trying to put you off, by the way, if you can get accepted by a university with,say, BCD grades and are *really* interested in astronomy more than anything else, certainly go ahead and do it. But remember many "math geniuses" do gravitate toward astronomy, so, unless you are a "math genius" don't expect to get a job in the pure math of string theory. You might, just, have a chance of a job if you exploit any other talents you have, the most important of which is *political acumen" - get yourself liked by the staff in whatever department you end up in and see if you can wheedle a job an average mathematican can do - observational astronomy, computer models of the universe... etc... these kind of 'practical' jobs will also be good preparation for your eventual move into IT or electronic engineering (though hopefully not into finance.) Ken Pounds - mega-star astronomer - was on BBC News this morning saying how sad he is that so many space scientists in the UK get jobs moving money around when they should be moving us to Mars, or at least doing *something* practical, something real, actually creating manufactured goods, rather than manufacturing a financial crisis...
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