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To become an astronomer, you must complete an undergraduate, graduate and a PhD program in astronomy, physics or a related subject. After obtaining a PhD, aspiring astronomers typically undertake a postdoctoral position, which focuses on research and writing within a specialty topic.


Astronomers study light waves collected from outer space to understand how the universe works. Because only a narrow band of light waves is visible to the human eye, they use telescopes and light-collecting antennae to collect, amplify and observe light that could not otherwise be perceived.


Astronomers earned a median salary of $96,460 in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There is considerable variation in salary, however; the top 10 percent of astronomers by salary earned more than $165,300, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $51,270.


Jobs for astronomers are located around the world, with the majority of opportunities held at universities and research facilities. The industry tends to be highly competitive, with about 150 job openings in North America each year.


An astronomical unit is equal to 92.96 million miles or the mean distance between Earth and the sun. The International Astronomical Union refined the definition for this unit in 2012, making it a standard international value.


Astronomers use physics, chemistry and mathematics to study the makeup of the universe. They discover facts about other astrophysical objects using telescopes on Earth and in space, radio, computers and the geology of Earth. Astronomers also use digital cameras and charge-couple devices in order to


Astronomers need a very advanced education, including an undergraduate degree in a physical science or mathematics and a master’s degree in an astronomy-related field. Most working astronomers have a doctorate in their specialty as well. However, most hopeful astronomers get the chance to work in th


The astronomical telescope is a central apparatus used to study distant planets, stars and moons from the Earth. Astronomer Galileo Galilei famously used the earliest telescopes in 1610 to prove the heliocentric solar system theory put forth by Nicolaus Copernicus in the early 16th century.


Find out how astronomers use light to discover information about cosmic objects. There's a lot more to light than you might think. When stargazers go outside at night to look at the sky, they see the light from distant stars, planets, and galaxies. Light is crucial to astronomical discovery. Whether


Amateur astronomy sounds simple in theory: Get a telescope, point it at the sky and look. But gaze into the night sky and you'll see countless points of light. So PM asked several accomplished astronomers about the best way to start stargazing. Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. W