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What Does an Astronomer Do?

12 Apr 2015, 12:28 UTC
What Does an Astronomer Do?
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Question: What exactly does an astronomer do? I am 14 and I am planning to become a research astronomer. I would like to know what a research astronomer does… like what does an astronomer trying to find out more about the Big Bang do? Also, how do you know what to do when you first start your job at a University… do a boss or colleagues tell you what to do? Finally, I would like to know some of the most famous Universities for astronomy. Thank you! – Bethany
Answer: You should check out my Careers in Astronomy page for questions on just this subject that have been answered in the past. In summary, astronomers are basically physicists that study how the universe works. Observational astronomers use telescopes to study the properties of things like the Big Bang and interpret those observations, using their knowledge of physics, to help us further understand the properties and evolution of the Big Bang. Astronomers who specialize in theory use the laws of physics to derived a theoretical understanding of things like the Big Bang which explains it properties and evolution using observations to constrain their theories. Most astronomers learn “the ropes”, or how ...

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