Astronomer Job Duties

Posted in Career Blog

When it comes to the basics about the job of an astronomer, few people know exactly what their daily duties and responsibilities are to make them astronomers. Below, we discuss the general and specific functions of astronomers, and how they use their tasks to fulfill the function they serve the scientific community with.
To adequately detail what an astronomer is responsible for, it is vital that we begin with a nod to the fact that there are a host of different astronomers specializing in certain fields of the science, and those also-who fulfill more general functions towards the study, analysis, and decoding of the universe and all its components.
For the most part, the general astronomer fulfills a variety of general duties in the study of the universe to include working in laboratories in teams developed for specific projects based on the topic. The lab teams focus their efforts on researching and observing different aspects of measurement and analysis as gleaned through hands on experimentation and evaluation of space matter-either by their team or that of another. These duties can be carried out at the lab, in the field, and everywhere in between.
This said, those astronomers who choose to get more advanced specialty training and experience in a particular aspect of the science of astronomy can choose from a wide variety of topics. These too are typically housed part of the time in laboratories for analysis and part of the time in the field, gathering the statistical and analytical research information. For more specific duties involved in astronomy, a person can expect to spend time doing any and all of the following: observing space phenomena; analyzing space phenomena; gauging and measuring space matter’s shapes, sizes, motions, brightness, and spectra; determining sky positions of planets, galaxies, nebulae, sun, moon, and stars; and researching the historical and present day movements and measurements of all planets, stars, and galaxy objects. To this end, they use highly scientific measuring tools and equipment-such as: satellites, space probes, micrometers, photometers, radiometers, cameras, and telescopes to facilitate and aid in this intensive research.
Beyond the hands on duties of the active astronomer, other duties exist for many trained and educated in this field, who find time for this set of responsibilities; and that is: of education. So, for many scientists of this discipline, they may finish a key project on a particular study of the universe, and be asked to discuss their findings in a seminar, workshop, or lecture for both novice astronomers and with fellow astronomers. Sometimes, it is not just one project or a handful of them that an astronomer has worked in the lab and/or the field on; but also, a theory or an aspect of astrophysics that they have done avid research and study on-and can offer a new expert perspective to others on.

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