Astronomer

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gotigers44

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Is it hard to become an astronomer?<br />What classes should i be taking in high school?
 
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yevaud

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Here's a link to the Astronomy Undergraduate program at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst):<br /><br />http://www.astro.umass.edu/ugrad/Require03.htm<br /><br />And here's descriptions (same school) of the astronomy courses you'de have to take:<br /><br />http://www.astro.umass.edu/ugrad/courses.html <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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Saiph

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What classes should you take?<br /><br />Math, and Physics, any science really. Chemistry is good, biology<br />less so (very hard to do biology in astronomy, not bad to be familiar<br />with).<br /><br />Those are obvious though.<br /><br />If you like building things...do shop classes. Learn to build things,<br />fix things etc... Having a mechanical knack really helps deal with,<br />and design instrumentation.<br /><br />BIG suggestion: COMPUTER PROGRAMMING...anything you can take. Even<br />if you don't end up making models and intense computer programs,<br />having that really helps with...well, everything. Computers are<br />fundamental tools of astronomy now, knowing how to deal with them, and<br />interface with them (the most common imaging software is really more<br />of a computer language than photography package).<br /><br />Any more questions, ask me, I'm begining the graduate school portion. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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alex05

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Are you aware of any phd programs or research areas that intersect computer science/software engineering wtih Astronomy?<br /><br />Thanks,<br />alex
 
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lunatio_gordin

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i find, when i ask questions like this, no one really has an answer for me. They just say "take what you like, what you're interested in."<br />i'm interested in becoming a physicist. now how do i get there?<br />So, for lack of any better advice, i have to say the same... If your school has an astronomy course, take it. My school does, but i already know everything they teach in there, it's pretty basic... is that a bad thing?<br />though i'm hoping that the number of astronaut jobs open up a little more <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" />
 
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Saiph

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Once you get into a Ph.D. program, things are a lot more flexible. Sure, you take some classes, but it's more of a mentoring or apprenticeship system near the end.<br /><br />As such, any software engineering skills you know, can and likely will be put to use. You will use it when you try to solve a problem, or your knowlede of it will influence the problems you seek out (you do modeling of stars for example). <br /><br />In the Ph.D. programs you and an existing (usually tenured) Ph.D. work together.<br /><br />You'll even need to know how to write papers (go english classes!), give presentations (i.e. speech!) and understand how to debate (in a slower format of papers being published backand forth).<br /><br />Now, with some legwork you can find some Ph.D. programs do more computer modeling than others, while some do observational work. Each university leans towards a specific field and a set of approaches. Mine, for instance, does extragalactic observation, and cosmology for the most part (there are exceptions of course). My old university didn't do much computer work (some, but not much), this new one has a guy that loves it.<br /><br />So I don't know any specific ones, but you look at the people running the program (the faculty) and what their doing, and you'll get a feel for it. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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alokmohan

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We require to know what preciously one means by term astronomer.
 
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kmarinas86

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An astronomer is some one who professionally studies things beyond this planet without having to leave this planet or anywhere there is a telescope. An astronomer studies things other than living things from space, UFOs, spaceships, etc. <img src="/images/icons/tongue.gif" />
 
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igorsboss

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...And using your 16" telescope to study the stars of the undergrad dorm windows doesn't count...
 
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Astrosag

Guest
Also don't forget that you can be a very successful amateur astronomer as well...as many here have become. Astronomy is my true passion above all but for many of the reasons crazyeddie stated, I opted not to major in it. <br /><br />Liking astronomy also meant that I liked math and science quite a bit. Something that also coincides with this is engineering. I liked plane and spacecraft and it was a good link to astronomy and human exploration of the cosmos. So here I am studying aersopace engineering and getting a minor in physics...which included astronomy classes.<br /><br />But echoing other peoples' remarks...math and science are a must and even moreso now, computer languages are a must as well....most of what many astronomers do is fiddle with computers contrary to the misconception I had when I was a kid and many other probably do too that they just gaze directly at the stars through scopes hours upon hours. Some do, I'm sure, but as far as I konw, most don't.
 
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