Dream Job: Astronomer
Imagine what it would be like to travel among the stars and planets, visiting the Big Dipper and stepping out onto the surface of Venus. Most people have never had the chance to travel out into space, and most of the planets are too far away to visit. However, one group of people can visit the stars and planets by studying them and learning all about them. Astronomers have the chance to study the skies and teach others about the amazing things that they find there.
Depending on their jobs, astronomers might focus mainly on research or teaching. Astronomers study stars, planets, asteroids, comets and anything else that they find in our galaxy and beyond. They invent telescopes and other instruments that help them record what they see. Some of them might develop new theories that help people to understand the universe better and to predict what might happen in the sky.
Sometimes, this kind of knowledge can be very important for life on earth. Storms on the sun, for example, can affect the weather on earth. Eclipses, where the moon covers part or all of the sun, can also cause problems unless people know they are coming and can prepare for them. The information that astronomers provide can help to make life much easier for many people.
Several jobs are closely related to work in astronomy. Physicists, cosmologists, nuclear physicists and physics research scientists all work with the same kinds of theories, computer software and scientific instruments. They might have to work in different ways to achieve results, but they all use the same basic methods of gathering and processing information.
Much of the work that astronomers do is solitary or in small groups of scientists and researchers. However, the ability to communicate with other people is also important. Do the things that you see in the skies fascinate you? Maybe you should consider becoming an astronomer.