I am doing a science proejct. The students have to pick a career in science and write a report about it. I chose an astronomer, and one of the requirements are contacting and interviewing a person that is in that career. I have 9 questions that I would like to ask you and I hope that you will take a minute of your time to answer them. Here they are. 1) How do you use science in your job? 2) What is the most challenging part about being an astronomer? 3) What do you enjoy about being an astronomer? 4) What advice do you have for someone who want to be an astronomer? 5) How do you use communication in your job? 6) Did becomnig an astronomer take alot of studying in math and science? 7) How did you become interrested in becoming an astronomer? 8) How does becoming an astronomer affect us? 9) What type of work do you do during the day?


1) How do you use science in your job?

In a few words, the scientific method applies: We start with a question, read about what's already known and observed, form a hypothesis, design experiments and collect data. After analyzing the data we interpret and publish our conclusions.

2) What is the most challenging part about being an astronomer?

There are different opinions on this but to me the most challenging part is the dedication and discipline required to maintain a career in astronomy. Many years of education and studying are needed, and many long hours researching. For most of your early career the workload will be high and may come with a lot of stress.

3) What do you enjoy about being an astronomer?

I enjoy going observing in Hawaii or Chile and getting exciting new data. I also enjoy problem solving during the data analysis I do on a daily basis and working with other astronomers.

4) What advice do you have for someone who want to be an astronomer?

My advice would be to start early and keep up with your math and physics courses. If you believe research is for you then it's a good idea to try to start a research project with an astronomer as early as possible when you go to college, or in high school if you can.

5) How do you use communication in your job?

Communication is very important in astronomy in many ways. One of these is to be able to have productive meetings with ones research adviser (or students) so that both you and your adviser can learn about your project, solve any problems you have during the research, or discuss how to implement new ideas for your project. Communication is also important for publicizing your results and discoveries to the community. In order to get a permanent job as an astronomer you have to make sure that people hear about the research that you've done and new projects that you're working on.

6) Did becoming an astronomer take a lot of studying in math and science?

Yes, the courses needed as a foundation for astronomy are math and physics courses.

7) How did you become interested in becoming an astronomer?

I liked star gazing when I was young, but I decided to pursue astronomy after taking a good introductory astronomy class in college. After that I did some research with a professor in college and decided to go to graduate school.

8) How does becoming an astronomer affect us?

Astronomy contributes to the advancement of knowledge and the development of new technologies, as well as providing people with broader perspective on life and our planet.

9) What type of work do you do during the day?

Like many jobs, I primarily work on a computer. I do some computer programming to prepare data and to analyze it. After finishing the analysis I then have to write an article to publish it for others to see. At academic institutions like UCSC, I attend lectures given by visiting astronomers, who come to talk about their own research. I also attend smaller informal discussions with astronomers I work with to talk about recent research results and new ideas.

Janet Colucci

 
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