This week’s supermoon and Perseid meteor shower have inspired this week’s career memes about astrophysicists, who study and interpret astronomical phenomena to raise knowledge of how the universe works.
Astrophysicists use telescopes and gauge radio, infrared and X-ray signals from extraterrestrial sources to write theories on various subjects, such as the formation of the solar system. They also gather, analyse and interpret data to test their theories and may present their findings at conferences or in scientific journals.
Some astrophysics may also teach the subject or help direct planetariums.
Astrophysicists can find work in colleges/universities, government departments, observatories, aerospace businesses, telecommunications firms and high-tech companies. They will usually possess an advanced degree in physics or astronomy, with a background in calculus, statistics and computer science.
Astrophysicists require solid analytical and advanced mathematical skills, as well as good logic and reasoning to think critically. Good communication skills are also important, especially when it comes to presenting research findings or in making grant proposals.
In June 2013, an astrophysicist earned an average annual salary of US$74,000, Indeed.com reported.