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Want to be an astronomer

  1. Mar 13, 2008 #1
    Dear sir,

    Since childhood, the heavens above have enthralled me and I always wanted to be a part of it.
    I wanted to see what is beyond the earth with my own eyes and not on TV or net.

    I want to be an astronomer and also want to be a astronaut.
    I am presently in BTech first year and am pursuing Mechanical Engineering. I would like to go into space with an electronics background and am trying to get an upgrade.
    What are the prospects in each.

    Please help,

    Yours sincerely
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2008 #2
    If you want to be an astronomer, why are you pursuing mechanical engineering instead of astronomy or physics? If you want an electronics background, you should study electrical engineering.

    There is no single degree that will prepare you to become an astronaut.

    (As a side note, in English, the correct salutation is dear sir/madam.)
  4. Mar 17, 2008 #3

    Dear Sir/Madam

    Sorry for the inappropriate salutation.

    I read some of the biographies of the astronauts at nasa and noticed that most of them were aerospace engineers. I also want to pursue aerospace engineering at the masters level, since very few institutes (Like few IITs and the newly found IIST) offer aerospace at the undergraduate level. I want to do specialization in instrumentation if I get electronics and/or Design if I stay in mechanical.

    Yours sincerely
    Anonymous Someone.
  5. Mar 17, 2008 #4
    NASA does a lot of aerospace, what with launching rockets into space and sending probes to various places. Astronomy is more of doing observational or analytical work with existing instruments (although astronomers are involved in determining the specifications for new instruments that are then built by various types of engineers).

    Salutations et cetera are generally used in written letters, not forum posts.
  6. Mar 24, 2008 #5
    Dear Anonymous Someone,

    Astronauts usually have technical PhD's and then some 'x-factor'. Eg, they served in the national guard, the navy, special ops (some military), or they are expert scuba divers, or stunt pilots, or sky diver, or they were in the olympic games at some point. Generally you have to be really smart, and a bad ass.

    Yours sincerely,

  7. May 31, 2011 #6
    Dear Sir/Madam

    Myself Sharath Kumar Engineering Graduate In Electronics and Communication Stream, presently working on Communication domain,Its My dream to become an Astronaut, kindly guide me.
  8. May 31, 2011 #7


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    Gold Member

    I LOL'ed
  9. May 31, 2011 #8
    Hope you know that Astronomy today is: not a whole lot of telescope time (maybe a few nights a year) and a WHOLE LOT OF data analysis (to make sense of the data you gathered from you few days of telescope time). I would consider taking a junior level observational astronomy class first to get a good idea of what being an astronomer in today's world really involves.
  10. Jun 1, 2011 #9
    I'm pretty sure you're from India, so I'll answer accordingly

    Firstly, if you want to be an astronaut, let's just say you can't. Precious few countries fly them, and they're still treated as some sort of national heroes.

    If you want to be an astronomer, that is more possible, but first you should get a better idea about what astronomy really is. If you're at an IIT, I would recommend joining the amateur astronomy club in your institute. Most IITs have active astronomy clubs, talk to students in the physics department for information. If you're not in an IIT but live in a major city, there must be some active astronomy club where you live, just google "amateur astronomy club in <name of city>". These clubs often organize lectures, "star parties", and most importantly, can put you in touch with real astronomers.

    Hope that helps
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