How to Become an Astronomer

How to Become an Astronomer
Bangalorestudy
1 week ago
How to Become an Astronomer

            "Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another."

                                                                                                                                - Plato

We all have gazed at the stars and the sky at some point in our lives, haven't we? But how many of you knew you could make a career out of it?

Astronomy is the science of heavenly bodies like the sun, stars, planets, galaxies, etc. and someone who studies it is called an Astronomer. If you are wondering how to become an astronomer, you are in the right place.

How to Become an Astronomer?

Any candidate aspiring for a career in Astronomy should complete their 10+2 examination in the science stream, followed by an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in Astronomy, Astrophysics or other related fields. 

After completing their Masters, they can pursue a doctoral degree, specializing in Astronomy and pursue a career in Astronomy.

Different courses and their eligibility criteria are mentioned below. 

Course
Eligibility

Undergraduate Programs:

  • B.Sc in Astrophysics
  • B.Sc in Astronomy
Candidates should complete 10+2 with Physics and Mathematics as main subjects and a minimum aggregate of 50% marks from a recognized board of education.

Postgraduate Programs:

  • M.Sc in Astronomy
  • M.Sc in Astrophysics
  • M.Sc in Meteorology
Candidates should complete Bachelor's or equivalent in Astrophysics or Astronomy with a minimum aggregate of 50% marks from a recognized institute.

Ph.D Programs:

  • Ph.D in Astronomy
  • Ph.D in Astrophysics
Candidates should complete Master's in Astrophysics or Astronomy with a minimum aggregate of 65% marks from a recognized university. 

Top 10 Astronomy Colleges in India:

Mentioned below is the list of the best 10 Astronomy colleges in India.

  1. Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, Nainital
  2. Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore
  3. Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai
  4. Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore
  5. Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram
  6. Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune
  7. Indian Centre for Space Physics, Kolkata
  8. National Centre for Radio Astronomy, Pune
  9. Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad
  10. Radio Astronomy Center, Ooty

Branches of Astronomy: 

Astronomy can be subdivided into 4 fields.

  • Astrophysics:

This vast field of Astronomy applies the laws of physics to space studies and relates it to the physical phenomena of celestial bodies. Astrophysics experts study topics like cosmology, spectroscopy, etc.

  • Astrogeology:

This field deals with the examination of rocks, terrain and materials in space. It focuses on how geology relates to extraterrestrial bodies like asteroids, comets, meteorites, planets, etc. 

  • Astrobiology:

Astrobiology is concerned with the study of life outside our planet. The field deals with the evolution, distribution and future of how life is in the universe. It also deals with how humans can interact with extraterrestrial life. 

  • Astrometry:

Astrometry focuses on the mapping of celestial bodies and their precise positioning. It is also concerned with identifying the frame of reference for the motion of celestial bodies and providing information about the origin of our galaxy.

Skills to Become an Astronomer: 

Several skills are required for candidates to gain excellent career opportunities in Astronomy. Some of those skills include:

  • Communication Skills
  • Computing Skills 
  • Critical Thinking Ability
  • Out-of-the-Box Thinking Ability
  • Adaptability
  • Scientific Interest 
  • Writing Skills
  • Mathematical Skills

Responsibilities of an Astronomer:

An Astronomer pushes the boundaries of human knowledge and figures out the hidden secrets of the universe to get a better understanding. 

Some of the responsibilities of an Astronomer are mentioned below.

  • Planning observational experiments.
  • Analyzing data from satellites or telescopes. 
  • Developing computer models for testing and proving different theories of space processes. 
  • Creating and deploying software for observing celestial bodies. 
  • Collecting huge quantities of data from observatories.
  • Developing techniques for thorough astronomical studies. 
  • Documenting the discoveries from observations conducted on celestial bodies. 
  • Sifting and evaluating astronomical data gathered from multiple sources. 

Scope of Astronomy:

Career opportunities in Astronomy are constantly expanding just like our universe. There is always a huge demand for Astronomers in space research organisations where they apply scientific principles to decode the universe. 

There is a shortage of brilliant Astronomers in our country and with many institutions offering a dynamic course-structure and research opportunities in the field of astronomy, your chances of becoming a well-reputed astronomer are very high. 

Countless possibilities are out there for you, once you become an Astronomer. Some of the top institutions that are hiring Astronomers are mentioned below. 

  • Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)
  • Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA)
  • Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC)
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
  • Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)
  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)
  • National Space Science Center
  • Indian Institute of Astrophysics
Salary for a career in Astronomy:

The salary of an Astronomer depends on the profession you have opted for. A few of the job roles a person and its average salary is given below:

Job Role
Salary Per Annum
Astronomer
Rs. 10,00,000 
Astrophysicist
Rs. 7,00,000
Astronomy Professor
Rs. 8,00,000
Research Physicist
Rs. 7,50,000
Meteorologist
Rs. 5,00,000
Conclusion:

Even though it is in an exploratory stage, Astronomy is a vast field with a wide range of opportunities. Pursuing a career in this field will lead you to a different realm of science.

An astronomy career is a lucrative one especially in elite countries like the USA or India. Choosing this career can make you literally reach for the skies and who knows if someday you might end up discovering a new planet.

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