10 astronomer memes look up to the career

20 Jan 2015

This week’s career memes pay tribute to astronomers, the professionals whose work helps inform scientific theories and explain our understanding of the universe.

Space is enormous, and as a result it contains a lot to study. Astronomers, therefore, may opt to specialise in a specific area, such as the study of black holes or solar systems.

What they do: Study objects in space, such as stars, moons and galaxies; analyse and interpret data; calculate orbits; and determine shape, size and brightness of celestial bodies.

What they don’t do: Tell you your horoscope.

Educational requirements: A high level of education, such as a PhD, in math or physics.

Required skills: Excellent application of math and physics; good communication skills in order to convey findings and write grant proposals; good computer skills and ability to operate ground-based equipment (such as optical telescopes) and equipment in space (for example, the Hubble space telescope).

Salary: In the US, an astronomer can expect to earn an average annual salary of US$94,689, according to PayScale.com.

Tina Costanza
By Tina Costanza

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic. She came to Ireland from Canada, where she had held senior editorial positions at daily newspapers in Ottawa and Toronto. When she wasn’t saving dangling participles, she was training for 10K races or satisfying a craving for scones.

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