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Astronomy is a diverse field that focuses on the universe; planets, galaxies, stars, comets, meteors, among others. It covers a wide range of things about what happens outside the earth’s atmosphere. For instance, it predicts lunar eclipses, studies cosmic background radiation, and observes and studies the characteristics and life cycles of celestial bodies.
It's divided into theoretical astronomy – a branch that focuses on the development of models to explain phenomena that take place outside the Earth's atmosphere and describes astronomical objects and observational astronomy - a branch that concentrates on collecting and analyzing data from observing astronomical objects. Astronomy is closely related to other disciplines such as astrophysics, astrology,mathematics, astrometry, cosmology, planetary, geology, astrobiology, and celestial navigation. Previously, astronomers conducted most of their observations at night using telescopes. Today, many astronomers use sophisticated digital imaging equipment and spend most of their time in offices and labs analyzing large amounts of astronomical data.
Common astronomy homework types that students must understand
There are various modules that astronomers must familiarize themselves with which include:
The solar system
The history of astronomy
Concepts of the galaxy
Cosmology and extragalactic astronomy
Below are 4 reasons why you should study astronomy. They include:
It answers big questions
Astronomy goes beyond stargazing. According to Science Daily, astronomy studies and answers questions related to the formation and development of various aspects of the universe and the evolution, motion, meteorology, chemistry, and physics of celestial bodies. Astronomy unravels the evolution of humanity as part of the universe and tries to solve problems on scales of the importance of astronomical inquiry. Astronomy aims at providing the significance of celestial bodies in the universe and their importance to humanity. Can’t it be interesting performing research to answer questions related to celestial bodies and different objects in the universe?
Astronomy enhance people’s lives
Astronomy affects people's lives in different ways. Various applications and inventions trace their roots to astronomy. They include the computer language Forth, MRI technology, and GPS. Astronomy reminds people that that Earth is a unique planet that supports life and hence it should be protected. Besides, it tells us that the universe is infinite, and life is precious and rare compared to other planets such as Mars.
It is a diverse field with a wide range of applications
If you are fascinated by studying celestial bodies and researching what happens outside the Earth's atmosphere, then astronomy is the course you should consider taking. Astronomy is a diverse field applied in numerous industries ranging from industry to medicine to energy to aerospace. Careers in astronomy are classified according to the objects one has concentrated in such as nebulae, stars, galaxies, solar systems, among others. The fact that astronomy has numerous application areas and the number of professional astronomers is relatively low means it's a marketable and competitive career.
Where can astronomy graduates work?
Astronomy graduates can find job opportunities in areas such as:
- Universities and higher-learning institutions
There are many job opportunities for astronomy graduates in higher-learning centers. For instance, you can work as a lecturer or a research associate in astronomy. However, in these institutions, research-based tasks come with teaching responsibilities. Sometimes, when not conducting research work, you might be spending time assisting students and delivering lectures.
- Observatories and research centers
Operating equipment such as telescopes can be an interesting task. Careers in research centers and observatories are research-based. They involve collecting astronomical data using equipment such as telescopes and other digital equipment in the observatory and analyzing the data using computer systems. However, optical and mechanical skills will be required when operating equipment in the observatories.
- Museums and planetariums
In these organizations, some of the opportunities that you can find include maintenance of technology and content in the museum, communicating and coordinating the planetarium’s programming, planning of digital resources and exhibitions, and planning and delivering planetarium shows.
- Aerospace sector
The aerospace industry requires extensive research on what’s happening in the universe. You can be recruited to perform research roles and to design different types of spacecraft, rockets, and aircraft. However, mechanical and engineering expertise will be required in some roles in the aerospace industry. Some potential employers include Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing.
- Government research organizations
There are many opportunities in government research organizations such as INSU in France and NASA in the United States. However, additional research experience and educational qualifications are required. Many organizations hire astronomy graduates which means that you might be absorbed into the job market immediately after graduating.
- Other related industries
Astronomy is also in demand in other industries such as accounting, finance, media and communications, and firms and websites that research astronomical objects.
It is fulfilling work
Astronomers bridge the awareness gap between human beings and the outer space. Discovering and sharing information on how the universe work is a source of satisfaction and gives an incredible experience to an astronomer. If you are fascinated by scientific discoveries, the wonders of the stars, and observing distant planets, then astronomy is the course you should pursue.
Astronomy therefore provides an excellent opportunity for advantageous dialogue and collaboration among astronomers. Currently, there is still a small number of astronomers globally, an indication that there are unlimited opportunities in astronomy.
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