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What do Astronomers Do ?

Most astronomers concentrate on a particular question or area of astronomy, for example, planetary science, solar astronomy, the origin and evolution of stars, or the formation of galaxies. Depending on their areas of specialization, astronomers are classified into various groups like observational astronomers, stellar astronomers, solar astronomers etc.

Astronomers are using ground-based telescopes, equipped with the latest electronic light-gathering instruments, to measure the chemical composition of stars, the mass of galaxy clusters, and looking for planets around other stars. Astronomers also study data gathered by physicists using particle accelerators. Key questions about the big bang and the nature of matter in the universe can only be answered by studying the behavior and forces of elementary particles and, perhaps, discovering new particles. Hence, in order to understand how the very large came to be, astronomers must learn what they can about the very small.

Astronomers maybe involved in taking astronomical observations, using optical, infrared, millimeter or radio ground-based telescopes, or a range of satellite-based telescopes and detectors, work on developing astronomical theories, which make predictions which can in turn be tested by observation or computational analysis, interpret observations or theories using their knowledge of astronomy and other sciences and use computers to test their ideas mathematically.




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