What is Astronomy
Astronomy is a scientific course which deals with the study of the physical universe; it is focused on events, objects, and phenomena that originate outside the earth’s atmosphere. In short, astronomy is the study of everything beyond the earth’s atmosphere such as the moon, sun, planets, stars and much more in detail. One can pursue an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in astronomy with B.Sc./Bachelor’s in physics, astronomy or astrophysics, diploma, and Master of Science in Astronomy or PhD in Astronomy.An individual pursuing this course of the subject is required to understand the basic principles of physics and mathematics since the course is based on the application of these subjects.
This course study has gained a lot of importance since the beginning of science, due to its nature of occurrence and the benefits we perceive by knowing about and beyond our earth. Astronomy has a lot of scope, hope and understanding in the future of aspirants. Astronomy is divided into observational and theoretical beaches of expertise or profession. Observational astronomy focuses on analysing data, using the basic principles of physics, whereas theoretical astronomy focuses on analytical models or development of computers to describe astronomical phenomena and objects. The two fields are complementary to each other.
Eligibility Criteria (UG & PG) of Astronomy
Eligibility Criteria for Astronomy differs from university to university as per their preference in scores or marks obtained in the previous degree course and necessary background Subjects of study.
For undergraduate degree
1. Candidates must score a minimum 50% marks after averaging the marks they have in all subjects and above in 12 grades.
3. The admission process for Astronomy is based on the entrance exam or merit-based as per the Institution requirements.
For Postgraduate degree
1. One must score a minimum of 55% marks in average and above in a bachelor’s degree.
2. Must have completed a bachelor’s degree in science (physics, mathematics, astrophysics or astronomy).
3. Admissions based on entrance exams or merit-based as per the Institution’s requirement.
Astronomy Entrance Exams
Many universities conduct entrance examinations for the admission process, while several universities proceed admissions based on the merit list. Some of the entrance exams for pursuing an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in astronomy include;
Jawaharlal Nehru University Entrance Exam (JNUEE) is conducted once every year for admissions to its various undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses offered by the university. It is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) through an online mode of exam.
iii. IIT JAM
Joint Admission Test for MSc (JAM) is a national-level entrance exam conducted by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) every year, for admissions to Masters degree in Science field of subjects.
Scope of Astronomy in India and Abroad
The study of astronomy may offer limited scope to individuals engaged in this course due to the requirement of extreme experts relevant to the needs of space works. If an individual is pursuing this course under a prestigious well-known Institution, he/ she might have a better future scope in the future.
This subject requires a lot of enthusiasm and efforts to understand the celestial bodies and its workings along with changes that take place over time. With the skills and experience obtained throughout the course, if an individual has an outstanding performance and knowledge in astronomy, the chances of being employed in ISRO or NASA becomes a possibility. One can pursue this course in India as well as abroad, and its scope depends on the individual’s dedication and research-based studies and works achieved over time.
The core subjects of study in astronomy include;
3. Quantum mechanics
4. Celestial and fluid mechanics
5. Positional Astronomy
6. Space physics
7. Astronomical techniques
8. Electromagnetic waves and radiating system
9. Advanced electronics
10. Galactic system and cosmology
Careers in Astronomy
The career aspects of astronomy course studies and the opportunities that come along with it depends on the individual’s skills and expertise in the field. Prestigious Institutions job offered to require a high-level skill. Most people pursuing astronomy carry on with research-based studies of the subject as a PhD degree to gain professional-level employment and make discoveries.
Many individuals with a PhD in astronomy get job offers from ISRO and NASA, which are considered the most prestigious companies you can work at. One can not only pursue a career in India but also abroad with the relevant expertise in the field of subject, and they work on different niches and job positions in astronomy-related companies.
Discoveries enabled by Technology and research have changed our understanding of the universe dramatically, leading to a need for newer technology and ideas and subjects in the field of astronomy.
With changes that take place, along with discoveries in the field of space and astronomy, changes and updates in the Subjects of astronomy are made as per the need. Upcoming trends with the use of technology in studying about space are expected to be introduced soon in Institutions offering courses in astronomy-related subjects. Students study the latest updated version of subjects in the course from time to time, along with conducting lab experiments and research and observing various celestial bodies and space-related issues.
Job Profiles and Top Recruiters
A wide range of job profiles is available for individuals with a degree in astronomy.
Designing, undertaking, analysing information from laboratory-based experiments and investigations.
Prepare and assess scientific theories and research proposals. They explore the ever-expanding space from a position of standstill due to the issue of light reaching us.
Prepare presentations and observation papers recorded during the research process.
Watch space, utilising telescopes and analyse outer space and observe the atmosphere.
Developing and testing scientific theories, analysing data and making research proposals.
Astronomy Top Recruiters
5. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
6. National Observatory Astronomy
Also Read: Astronomy Certification Courses
The salary range for Astronomy jobs may vary as per the degree completed along with skills, knowledge and experience in the field of study.
Average Annual Salary (Rs)
Rs. 7 to 15 lakhs p.a. (Approx.)
Rs. 6 to 13 lakhs p.a. (Approx.)
Rs. 8 to 12 lakhs p.a. (Approx.)
Rs. 6 to 12 lakhs p.a. (Approx.)
Rs. 7 to 13 lakhs p.a. (Approx.)
Required Skillset for Astronomy
The study of astronomy requires a lot of skills and expertise in the field related aspects. The ability to solve complex problems, conduct research, analyse data, math, physics and knowledge in basic science related subjects are the most important skill sets of an individual pursuing astronomy or aspirants of an astronomer.
Since the scope isn’t that large for all individuals pursuing this course, having the required skills and learning and gaining in-depth knowledge will be beneficial for future career opportunities.
Course Curriculum for Astronomy
The purpose of this course is to enable its students to apply the knowledge of the universe along with its properties and bodies in space.
It informs students on the existence of celestial bodies beyond earth and how they can be explored, understood and studied all the important roles they play in shaping our universe and what kind of benefits and effects it can bring to our planet. For instance, with the help of astronomy studies, today we can use GPS guide, which is set up in space, and we can get a clear image of outer space and stay aware of them. Therefore, astronomy study offers a wide range of knowledge beyond our existing universe.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: Which course should someone who wants to pursue astronomy study?
One needs to take science during their 10+2 to pursue an astronomy course in further studies. For undergraduate in astronomy and masters and PhD in astronomy, one needs to have a degree in science stream in Subjects of maths, physics and astrophysics or astronomy.
Question: Will I get job opportunities in NASA or ISRO with an astronomy degree?
If an individual pursuing a degree in astronomy has relevant skills and expertise in the course, he or she may have chances to get employed at NASA or ISRO. However, it depends on the individual’s skills and dedication towards the subject since they are prestigious companies.
Question: Are astrophysics and astronomy the same?
Astrophysics and astronomy are quite similar to each other, and one can pursue astronomy with astrophysics as a subject.
Question: What is the career scope of a degree in astronomy?
Astronomy offers a limited scope since the recruitments are based on highly skilled individuals in the subject matter. However, one can work in the fields of astronomy as an astronomer, research analyst, observation astronomer, and much more.
Question: What is the study of astronomy?
Astronomy is the in-depth scientific study and understanding of the universe beyond the earth and the existing celestial bodies or objects.