Saturday, 27 June 2015

Post #2 : Career in Astronomy

Astronomy is a vast and fascinating challenge for mankind. Unlike other physical sciences one needs to observe the universe as it actually is and maintain observed data carefully. If astronomy seems a rigorous science, it's because the objective of astronomers is nothing less than to understand the nature of the universe.

Is it for me?
Astronomy is one of the rare branches of science which involves all the topics of science to come out with a cumulative result. Be it physics, mathematics chemistry they all have a certain role to play. Biology, geology and even meteorology come into the scene whenever you are understanding an unknown heavenly body. The beauty of astronomy lies in this very fact. It is incredible to see how physics or chemistry come together to give out an astonishing result.
Having said that, astronomers are highly intellectual with strong scientific knowledge. Astronomy degree, nevertheless, is important for making a career in this field but one should have equal command over all the scientific aspects. For an astronomer to come with a research paper, a degree in astronomy is never enough. one should have enough knowledge in physics, chemistry and mathematics and all the other branches. And most importantly, the presence of mind to use knowledge in proper application.
Hence a career in astronomy is highly challenging but extremely exciting for it requires you exploit your scientific side!

        1.    Astrophysics:-
·         Physical Cosmology
·         High energy Astrophysics
·         Interstellar Astrophysics
·         Plasma Astrophysics
·         Relativistic Astrophysics
·         Solar Physics
·         Extragalactic Astronomy
·         Galactic Astronomy
·         Stellar Astronomy
·         Compact Objects
   2.   Planetary Science:-
·         Atmospheric Science
·         Exoplanetology:
·         Planetary Formation
·         Planetary Rings
·         Magnetospheres
·         Planetary surfaces
·         Small Solar System Bodies

        3. Radio Astronomy  
        4. Astrobiology
        5. Planetary interiors
        6. Sub millimeter Astronomy
        7. Infrared Astronomy
        8. Optical Astronomy
        9. Ultraviolet Astronomy
      10. X-Ray Astronomy
      11. Gamma-Ray Astronomy
      12. Cosmic Ray Astronomy
      13. Neutrino Astronomy
      14. Gravitational Wave Astronomy
      15. Photometry
      16. Spectroscopy
      17. Astrometry
      18. Archioastronomy
      19. Astrochemistry

Where do astronomers work?
Many astronomers go on to teach to a college or university. Some educational institutes  invite scientists and observers to produce their research materials in classrooms for better understanding of the subject. Faculty members may be called on to teach some physics courses as well as astronomy courses. Because of their training, both undergraduate and graduate, astronomers are well qualified for this expanded role.
Observing and analyzing is an important aspect of study of astronomy. So, astronomers go on to work in observatories while some may do the job of analyzing and coming out with the results.
Recent university graduates start their careers at universities, colleges, and other institutions with postdoctoral research positions and research associate ships that allow full time for research.
In USA, median salaries at universities and colleges depend upon the size, quality, and competitiveness of the school. Starting salaries for assistant professors start at about $50,000 for 9-10 months, the range for senior professors is $80,000-100,000 for 9-10 months. Typical postdoc pay ranges between $35,000-45,000 per year.  It is hoped that future years will see a healthy and more equitable balance of men and women of all races in astronomy.