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A Career as an Astronomer

6 May 2015, 11:50 UTC
A Career as an Astronomer
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Question: I am 15 and I plan to become and astronomer. I’m a freshman in high school. What classes do you suggest I take my sophomore year? Also, do astronomers travel a lot? What do you suggest I do to learn hands-on about astronomy. – Anthony
Answer: You should check out my Careers in Astronomy page on this blog for information on various aspects of a career choice as an astronomer. Regarding the classes that one should take in high school to prepare for a career as an astronomer, the best tip that I could give to an aspiring high school student who is interested in astronomy is to learn as much math and science as possible. Astronomers are basically physicists, and math is the language of physics. A good background in physics and math is essential for a productive career in astronomy. Regarding travel, yes astronomers do travel a fair bit, but I would not say that it is excessive. Mostly we travel to attend meetings or to conduct observations at observatories. Finally, to learn hands-on astronomy your best bet is to try to find a summer internship working at a physics or astronomy research institute. There are a ...

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