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.