As an astronomer, you will study celestial objects and phenomena in the universe by using principles of physics, mathematics and chemistry. You may also work on the exploration of the origin and evolution of celestial bodies.
Astronomers study and collect data on the nature, composition, movements, history and possible future of celestial bodies such as planets, stars, meteors, galaxies etc. They analyse and interpret this data to develop various theories.
To take up a bachelor course in Physics/ Astronomy/ Astrophysics, you need to have studied Physics and Mathematics at the 10+2 level
Astronomy/Astrophysics is rarely offered by Indian universities at the bachelor’s level. You can take up a bachelors course in Physics with Mathematics which will equip you for higher studies in the field. It is generally of 3 years duration.
Bachelor’s programs in Astronomy and Astrophysics are offered by universities abroad.
A master’s course in Astrophysics/Astronomy is offered by a few institutions in India (Eg. Dept of Astrophysics- Pondicherry University), although you can find postgraduate programs in Astronomy and Astrophysics in many Universities abroad. A more common path to take up would be to go for an MSc Physics and opt for research in astronomy or astrophysics. Specialisation in astronomy/astrophysics in MSc Physics is offered by some Universities like the Delhi University.
Since this is a highly intellectual field, a majority of those working in astronomy around the world have a doctorate. There are various reputed institutes in India that offer a PhD in this field.
Requirements for admission into a PG course in one of the top institutions to help you get an overall picture
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An astronomer should have good analytical skills as they will have to deeply analyse even the minute aspects and details of stars, planets, and galaxies during their work.
Problem solving is an important skill for an astronomer as they will have to anticipate all possible issues that may come up and should be able to quickly solve problems in an effective manner.
Astronomers should be very accurate. They work on minute details and numbers. So they should have attention to detail and not even make a small mistake.
Astronomers should be able to present their research findings in a simple and understandable manner. For this, they should have good written and oral communication skills.
Astronomers have to conduct research, test theories and even formulate new theories. They should possess good critical thinking for conducting research and analysing facts and observations.
Astronomers mainly work with numbers and numerical data. They should have a good aptitude and skill for using numbers.
An astronomer should have good abstract thinking as they study, analyse and research about things and particles far away. They should be able to imagine and visualize the shape, size and dimensions.