An astronomer is a
Astronomers usually fit into two types: observational and theoretical. Observational astronomers make direct observations of planets, stars and galaxies, and analyze the data. In contrast, theoretical astronomers create and investigate models of things that cannot be observed. Because it takes millions to billions of years for a system of stars or a galaxy to complete a life cycle, astronomers have to observe snapshots of different systems at unique points in their evolution to determine how they form, evolve and die. They use these data to create models or simulations to theorize how different celestial bodies work.
There are further subcategories inside these two main branches of astronomy such as planetary astronomy,
The number of professional astronomers in the
Contrary to the classical image of an old astronomer peering through a
Astronomers who serve as faculty spend much of their time teaching undergraduate and graduate classes. Most universities also have outreach programs including public telescope time and sometimes
Those who become astronomers usually have a broad background in maths, sciences and computing in high school. Taking courses that teach how to research, write and present papers are also invaluable. In college/university most astronomers get a Ph.D. in astronomy or physics.