What does an astronomer actually do?

Astronomy is a branch of an amalgam of physics and mathematics that studies celestial bodies, galaxies, and planets. It is the oldest natural science, which helps observe physics at work and understand the entire universe. Thanks to the invention of telescopes have boosted today’s astronomical world.

An astronomer is a person who spends time gathering, analyzing, and creating a more effective search for the data collected. Astronomers focus on their scope of study outside the scope of Earth. Their job is to observe celestial bodies and draw the necessary conclusions.


Job of astronomers

Astronomers also study stars, space, and other bodies within the scope of the universe and understand them to draw scientific conclusions. The center of an astronomer’s galaxy is based on research and observation to create scientific breakthroughs in the field. The tools used by them to achieve these breakthroughs are:

  • Telescopes to gather all the light emissions from Earth or outer space
  • Spectrographs to break this collected light into different components and study them
  • Cameras in the telescopes were used to collect pictures of their research elements
  • Computers to analyze and craft conclusions from the received data

Astronomers are generally well-versed in mathematics and physics. A great example of a telescope is the Hubble Space Telescope, which captures images from objects that are millions of light years away from the Earth. The images of galaxies we see today were present billions of years ago, as their light took that much time to reach us!

Astronomers are generally of two types – theoretical and observational astronomers. Theoretical astronomers generally work with investigation models as they cannot see objects millions of light years away. On the other hand, observational astronomers observe galaxies, patents, and their behavior over a long period.

Astronomers also choose from one of the following fields of study:

  • Solar astronomy
  • Stellar astronomy
  • Cosmology
  • Planetary astronomy
  • Galactic Astronomy
  • Extragalactic astronomy

Workspace of an astronomer

A typical space for an astronomer is an observatory with labs, like the ones we see at NASA or ISRO. However, depending on their type and field of study, they also work in office environments, researching various topics and jotting points together. Since computer, physics, and mathematics are necessary for this field, people who opt for this career are well-versed in these subjects.


Observational astronomers generally travel to different observatories worldwide to get a better angle for their observation, like the South Pole, Puerto Rico, Europe, Hawaii, Australia, Chile, and many more.

Successful astronomers spend time writing and journaling their observations for publishing in journals or books to keep account of their discoveries. They also write grant proposals for various types of research.


People interested in outer space appearances, with commendable knowledge of mathematics, physics, and research skills, often take up the role of astronomers.

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