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Also called: Astronomer, Astronomy Professor, Professor, Research Scientist

What they do:
Observe, research, and interpret astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems.
On the job, you would:
  • Study celestial phenomena, using a variety of ground-based and space-borne telescopes and scientific instruments.
  • Analyze research data to determine its significance, using computers.
  • Develop theories based on personal observations or on observations and theories of other astronomers.


Math and Science
  • physics
  • arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Engineering and Technology
  • computers and electronics
  • product and service development
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Education and Training
  • teaching and course design


Basic Skills
  • using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems
  • figuring out how to use new ideas or things
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
  • figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it


  • choose the right type of math to solve a problem
  • add, subtract, multiply, or divide
  • communicate by speaking
  • communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
  • make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
  • use rules to solve problems
  • pay attention to something without being distracted


People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Initiative
  • Persistence
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Innovation
  • Independence


You might use software like this on the job:

Analytical or scientific software
  • Adaptive optics AO simulation software
  • Software Bisque CCDSoft
Development environment software
  • Abstraction plus reference plus synthesis A++
  • Formula translation/translator FORTRAN
Graphics or photo imaging software
  • Avis Fits Viewer
  • IRIS


Education: (rated 5 of 5)
post-doctoral training or
doctoral degree
usually needed

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Job Outlook

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See more details at O*NET OnLine about astronomers.