How to Become an Astrophysicist

How to Become an Astrophysicist
Bangalorestudy
3 months ago
How to Become an Astrophysicist

At some point of time, every one of us would have gazed into the ever-changing sky. The clouds in the day and patterns of stars in the night have intrigued all of us. Some of us even wonder if there is anything beyond what just meets the eye. 

Astrophysics is a discipline that helps us understand all of this better. It is a space science that involves the study of astronomical objects in the universe. It is a branch of Astronomy that applies the principles of Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry to scientifically study celestial objects and related phenomena. 

In this article, let's have a look at the Astrophysics courses one can choose, top Astrophysics colleges in India, scope of Astrophysics and career options in Astrophysics.

Who can study Astrophysics?

Since Astrophysics is a Science discipline, candidates are required to have a Science background. Generally in India, specialisations in Astrophysics are offered at the postgraduate level, though some colleges do offer undergraduate courses.

Now, let's look at the eligibility criteria to study Astrophysics courses in India.

Astrophysics Eligibility Criteria:

Courses
Eligibility Criteria
B.Sc Astrophysics
Candidates must have studied Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics in 10+2/ 12th/ 2nd PUC or equivalent with minimum aggregate marks of 50%.
M.Sc Astrophysics
Candidates must have completed B.Sc/ B.E/ B.Tech with minimum aggregate marks of 50%.They should have also qualified in JEST/ IIAST or any other similar entrance examination.

M.Phil / PhD

in Astrophysics

Candidates must have completed M.Sc (Astrophysics/ Physics/ Electronics/ Astronomy/ Applied Mathematics), Integrated M.Sc or M.E/ M.Tech with minimum aggregate marks of 55%. They should have also qualified in JEST/ GATE/ CSIR UGC NET/ IIAST/ INAT or any other similar entrance examination.
Top Astrophysics Courses available in India:
  • B.Sc Astrophysics
  • M.Sc Astrophysics
  • M.Sc Observational Astrophysics
  • M.Sc Physics (Astrophysics)
  • M.Sc Physics (Cosmology)  
  • M.Sc Data-Intensive Astrophysics
  • MPhil Astrophysics
  • Ph.D Astrophysics
  • Post Doctoral Programmes in Astrophysics.

 For admission into Astrophysics Postgraduate programs, candidates are required to qualify in any of the entrance examinations that are discussed in the next section.

Top Entrance Exams for Astrophysics Courses after 12th:

Candidates should write any of the national-level entrance examinations as mentioned below to gain admission into premier institutes for Astrophysics courses. 

  • Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST)
  • Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) {Physics/ Mathematics}
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test (CSIR UGC NET) for Junior Research Fellow (JRF) {Physics}
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) {Physics}
  • Indian Institute of Technology Joint Admission Test for Masters (IIT JAM)

Following are some of the popular Astrophysics Entrance Examinations conducted by colleges themselves for admission to their postgraduate Astrophysics courses.

  • Indian Institute of Astrophysics Screening Test (IIAST)
  • Inter Universities Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics - National Center for Radio Astrophysics Admission Test (INAT)
  • Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Aptitude Test
  • Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test (BITSAT)

These examinations are generally followed by a personal interview for the candidates who have scored well.

Top Astrophysics Colleges in India:

Top B.Sc Astrophysics Colleges in India:

  • Osmania University, Hyderabad
  • Andhra University, Visakhapatnam
  • Punjab University, Chandigarh

Top M.Sc Astrophysics Colleges in India:

  1. Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore
  2. Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore
  3. Inter Universities Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune
  4. National Center for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) in Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Pune
  5. India Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram
  6. Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata
  7. Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Uttarakhand
  8. Raman Research Institute, Bangalore
  9. Harish Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad
  10. St. Xavier's College, Kolkata

Top Astrophysics Colleges in Bangalore:

 Many leading Astrophysics research institutions of the country are located in Bangalore. Let's have a look at some of them:

  • Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA):

The Indian Institute of Astrophysics is an autonomous research institute financed by the Government of India. It conducts extensive research in the fields of Astronomy and Astrophysics. IIA is located at Koramangala, Bangalore. 

  • Indian Institute of Science (IISc):

Ranking second in NIRF, IISc is one of the best institutes in the country to study Astrophysics. Joint Astronomy Programme (JAP) is an initiative of IISc that was started in the year 1982 to provide training for graduate students in the field of Astrophysics. It is run by the institute's Department of Physics in collaboration with IIA, RRI and ISRO. The institute has an active research group for Astrophysics since 1986.

  • Raman Research Institute (RRI):

Founded by Sir C.V.Raman, RRI is another leading institute for research in Astrophysics. The main areas of research at the institute are Astronomy & Astrophysics, Light & Matter Physics, Soft Condensed Matter, and Theoretical Physics. RRI is also a part of the JAP programme run by IISc.

Scope of Astrophysics:

Astrophysicists study the physics of the universe. It involves the study of multiple disciplines and hence, the scope of the field is vast. An Astrophysicist does a detailed study of the physical, chemical and dynamic properties of celestial bodies.

Astrophysics has two main divisions namely 'Observational Astrophysics' and 'Theoretical Astrophysics'. Astrophysicists work constantly in developing new techniques of observation and theories to improve our understanding of the universe.

Career in Astrophysics:

 A wide range of job opportunities in public and private sectors are available after one graduates in Astrophysics. The average salary of an Astrophysicist is in the range of Rs. 5,00,000 to Rs. 10,00,000 per annum.

With every country having its own space research agency and ambitious space missions, there are a lot of career opportunities that are interesting as well as lucrative. NASA and ISRO are some of the top recruiters of Astrophysicists.

Conclusion:

The results of research studies in Astrophysics have numerous implications and applications across different fields. Many facets of the universe still remain a mystery. Over the years, the understanding of the universe and its processes has always been important and the work of Astrophysicists contributes immensely in this regard.

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